« The Max Jacob Theatre is a mythical place which can be sympathetically renovated in line with its history. This project will give more soul to the centre, making it more accessible to all types of audiences » Allain Le Roux, Deputy Mayor responsible for culture.
The Max Jacob Theatre has a fine history and a very special atmosphere. These will be retained and the renovation will take into account the uniqueness of the building. It will pave the way for different disciplines of the performing arts to be made accessible to all audiences, creating a new cultural nucleus for Quimper!
1904: at the inaugural gala evening, the city theatre was already the subject of much discussion (even by the State Council!). It inspired Max Jacob to write his scandalous novel « Le Terrian Bouchabelle » (the Bouchabelle field) and the theatre was later named after him.
Loyal to its calling
For more than a century, troupes of actors have performed there on Breton evenings and holidays. It has been home to the Scéne National (national stage) since 1994. Even since the 1998 opening of the Cornouaille Theatre, the 'old' theatre so dear to the hearts of the people of Quimper has remained faithful to its mission and continues to host a variety of shows.
It is the heart of the Max Jacob Centre, the first phase of which was inaugurated in November 2015. In this 19th century style landscaped park, decorated with contemporary facilities, different buildings are intertwined: including the new Novomax hall (recording studios, a 280-seat concert hall and rehearsal space), associative spaces, educational workshops, a bar-restaurant. The centre creates co-operations to support and develop cultural and artistic practices.
Today brings a new adventure to the theatre: its revitalisation. In fact it has become difficult in terms of access and use (reduced back stage areas, narrow dressing rooms, lack of space for technicians…) Bearing in mind that its frontages and roofs are listed in the supplementary inventory of historic monuments: they will remain the same. The responsibility for this important piece of heritage has encouraged the city to solicit investment from outside the current partners of the Department, the Region and the State.
Inside the original spirit will be preserved with an Italian feel to the balconies (slightly circular), iconic to this type of theatre. Improved access for the disabled is planned, along with renovations to the stage, backstage, technical areas and the dressing rooms. An extension to the rear may be planted, in line with the garden. This optimisation of space will assure a truly professional reception for performers, different productions and the public.
All forms of the arts
The aim is for the people of Cornouaille to re-appropriate the theatre for the benefit of all. It will be managed by the city and will include events suggested by the promoters in conjunction with broadcast groups, amateur associations, schools, etc. Part of the programming will be managed by the town hall.
The theatre will be the heart of cultural policy, a melting pot for all forms of art: classical music, jazz, sea shanties, dance performances, improvisation, street theatre.
The study phase has started in conjunction with the project’s partners. Concepts and objectives will be confirmed in 2016, after which an architectural proposal will be submitted. Work will begin in 2017.