French performing arts hit the UK

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Several UK arts venues are to take part in the first ever major season showcasing French performing arts companies in the UK.

Several UK arts venues including Sadler's Wells, Leicester's Curve and the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh are to take part in the first ever major season showcasing French performing arts companies in the UK. The initiative has been led by the French Embassy in London, which has supported the project with £200, 000 in administration costs. Arts Council England has also put forward £45, 000 through its grant for the arts programme, while around the same amount has been put forward by European funders. The six–month festival will involve more than 20 sites across the UK. Established artists such as Jerome Bel, Xavier Le Roy and theatre company Cheek by Jowl all feature as part of the season, which will also include the UK premiere at the Barbican Centre of Romeo Castellucci's response to Dante's The Divine Comedy, which was one of the highlights of the 2008 Avignon Theatre Festival. Whilst much of the programme focuses on dance and physical theatre, there is also a strand entitled Paris Calling New Writing, in which rehearsed readings of new English translations of French plays will be performed at venues including the Bush Theatre, Hampstead Theatre, Northern Stage and the Young Vic.

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