Theatres across France have united for a day of solidarity on 18 December under the banner #MaPlaceEstDansLaSalle [My place is in the performance halls]. The campaign is a reaction to the terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November, whose targets included Bataclan Theatre where 89 people died.
Companies have retitled all shows as Ma Place est Dans la Salle, giving the performing arts a joint voice. Screenings, musicals, concert performances, cabarets, comedy nights and theatre shows are all taking part in an effort to show that violent acts cannot deter French people from continuing to create art and enjoy life.
‘In an act of solidarity and resistance, actors, technicians, venue managers, producers, ticket vendors and all those involved in the performing arts speak with one voice to show the world that freedom is more powerful than fear,’ said organisers in a press statement, adding that, ‘Laughter, joy and life will echo in the concert halls.’
Theatres have been hit hard by the attacks, with attendances dropping by 40 per cent or more. While the government has pledged €4m to help cover the losses, theatres cannot go on with reduced audiences indefinitely. It is hoped this campaign will help reverse the trend.
Audience members are encouraged to share their thoughts, pictures and videos using the hash tag #MaPlaceEstDansLaSalle. Signed up venues include Théâtre du Châtelet, Comedie des Boulevards, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Apollo Paris and Théâtre des Variétés.
The French Ministry of Culture and Communications, La Ville de Paris and Groupe Audiens have organised the project.