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France's Avignon theater festival cancelled due to epidemic


Agence France-Presse

Paris, France  /  Tue, April 14, 2020  /  11:02 am
France's Avignon theater festival cancelled due to epidemic

Chinese actors perform during the rehearsal of 'Maison de Thé' written by Lao She and directed by Chinese director Meng Jinghui, as part of the 73rd International Theatre Festival in Avignon, southeastern France on July 8, 2019. (AFP/Boris Horvat)

The annual theater festival in the French city of Avignon, the world's most famous celebration of drama, has been cancelled because of the coronavirus outbreak, organizers said Monday.

"The conditions have not been met to allow the 74th edition to take place," organizers said in a statement. The festival had been set for July 3-23.

The organizers said that they had taken note of an address to the nation by President Emmanuel Macron earlier Monday on the coronavirus pandemic.

Read also: Shaken-up version of classic Chinese play 'Teahouse' causes stir

He said a gradual easing of France's lockdown could be allowed from May 11 but the big festivals could not take place until mid-July at the earliest, while cinemas and theaters must remain closed for now.

The virus outbreak has ravaged France's glittering spring and summer cultural calendar, with the Cannes film festival also not taking place as planned in May.

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