The festival Komidi celebrates its twelve years. In any discretion. It has never been much publicized in France. For a bad reason: the event is concentrated in the south of the island of the Meeting. Taking each year in size, it is bursting today on the Hexagon, Avignon, france in particular, and attracts big names in the private theatre of the metropolis.

Komidi is born under the impulse of a group of friends, all teachers at the lycée Pierre Poivre, Saint-Joseph, the southernmost city of Europe, which agreed on the necessity to open the school to the culture. “In the South, there was virtually no cultural life, still less theatrical”, sets a new context for Philippe Guirado, one of the founders, a few weeks before the opening of the twelfth edition. He continued, not hiding the essence of learning in such an event: “In 2008, the only tool that is cultural was an old cinema that came close. It was in a social situation is explosive, with a very high unemployment rate, especially among young people where it rises to over 60%”.

Festival Komidi

interest in the performing arts, then, is clear: to confront directly, physically, of the young to culture, to “educate the public of tomorrow.” The success of the first edition, divided into two scenes (including the former cinema), is a surprise. 30 performances and attract three thousands of spectators. “In 2018, the festival stretches across six municipalities, 14 scenes, with more than 200 performances, 12.000 students and 20,000 spectators,” enthused even the history teacher.

such A success, which can be explained according to him by a real appetite for the theater of the part of the local population. But also, it must be stressed, by the ticket prices, which range between 1 and 3 euros. “We are working to democratize the theater in a very tough environment,” repeated Mr. Guirado. “At 15 euro, it would already be a good market, but it would exclude half of the population, including creole. Then the school have tickets for 1 euro to invite their family.” A feat permitted by an organization exclusively voluntary (they are a hundred, more and more every year).

Soon a village reunion in Avignon?

as The years pass, the festival is spread geographically throughout the south, responding to the requests always more numerous in the middle school. And the public of any short. Today it attracts, in addition to local companies, big names in the private tour, spotted by the organisers during the Festival d’avignon. An example of this? All the performances of Alexis Michalik have walked the earth reunion island. Ditto for Ticklish Andrea Bescond, given at The Meeting a few weeks before you receive the Molière for best Single(e) – en-scene.

The programming of the twelfth edition, which begins to unfold, it is just as attractive. The room of Jean-Philippe Daguerre Goodbye, Mr. Haffmann , 4 Molière last year, will be of the party. As the adaptations of Marcel Pagnol signed by Stéphanie Tesson ( The Glory of my father, The Castle of my mother ), or the very handsome, only in scene from Gaël Leiblang Thou shalt be a Man, dad , the success of the last Avignon off. Without forgetting, of course, the 14 companies in réunion programmed on the 43 invited.

The festival Komidi, which enjoys an excellent reputation among artists hexagon, embeds itself also since a few years on the continent. With “a drink Komidi”, at the Avignon Festival, which brings together between 400 and 500 people, traditionally in front of the theatre The Capstan. This is not all. Philippe Guirado works up to 2020, with the foundation, “the Meeting of The talents”, a village in reunion island during the Festival of Avignon, which would invite each year one or two companies in réunion.

● Festival Komidi, from April 27 to may 7, 2019 in Saint-Joseph, Reunion.