Paris 2024, in collaboration with its stakeholders, has chosen Thomas Jolly as the artistic director of the four opening and closing ceremonies of the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
It is a bold and clear choice in line with Paris 2024’s vision of offering new and innovative ceremonies accessible to all.
"For Paris 2024, appointing Thomas Jolly as artistic director of the ceremonies is an ambitious choice that is consistent with our vision," said Tony Estanguet, President of the Paris 2024 Organising Committee. "With his impressive career, Thomas Jolly is at the forefront of the young, creative and ambitious French artistic scene. His extraordinary shows are proof that he knows how to break norms and take them to the next level.
"Thomas Jolly will be able to imagine unprecedented artistic concepts for the Paris 2024 ceremonies, whether in the heart of Paris, on the Seine for the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games, on the Place de la Concorde, which is being considered for the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympic Games, or at the Stade de France for the two Closing Ceremonies of these historic Games in France."
In theatre or the opera, Jolly is an expert in the performing arts, where the key requirement is to create a strong bond with the audience. Paris 2024 and its unique ambition to bring the ceremonies to the heart of the French capital will be a testament to his talent.
With his sense of scene and rhythm and his ability to mix academic and popular cultures, Jolly will bring an innovative artistic approach to the ceremonies of Paris 2024 that will appeal to the largest number of people.
“I am very honoured and proud to be appointed Artistic Director of the Paris 2024 Ceremonies," he said. "When I heard about the concept of the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games on the Seine, I was struck by the incredible ambition that the Organising Committee had set. With the prospect of an extraordinary Opening Ceremony for the first Paralympic Games in France, and the joyful Closing Ceremonies at Stade de France, I am convinced that we can offer the world unique images in 2024.
"By opening the Games to as many people as possible, Paris 2024 displays values which I fully recognise. The theatre I advocate is also resolutely open because I am convinced that in our time, we need to project ourselves together towards common ideals. As such, the Ceremonies will be a great opportunity to share a collective narrative, to affirm the possibility of a ‘we’ in front of nations around the word.”
Multidisciplinary artistic team
Thomas Jolly represents a theatrical culture guided by a collective spirit. As founder, director and actor in his own performing group, he has demonstrated the ability to lead a team to achieve the exceptional.
In the coming months, Thomas Jolly will be surrounded by a multidisciplinary artistic team that will represent, alongside him, the best of the French and international scene. Together, they will be responsible for bringing to life the ceremonies and the innovative concepts created by Paris 2024.
The artistic project will be presented in 2023.
"Child of French public theatre"
Thomas Jolly was born in Rouen and trained in Normandy and Brittany, before he began his career as a director in 2007 by creating his own theatre company, La Piccola Familia.
Since 2020, he has served as the director of the Centre Dramatique National d'Angers. His remarkable debut with his first play, Arlequin Poli par l'Amour de Marivaux, attracted the attention of the public and in 2015 he received the Jean-Jacques Gautier prize, which recognises young French theatre talent.
Acclaimed by critics and audiences alike, Jolly also received the Molière Award, France’s highest theatre honour, for directing a public theatre production in 2015.
Jolly stands out for his "monumental" artistic approach and a theatre that appeals to all audiences. Through daring staging, his ambition has always been to make a wide repertoire accessible to as many people as possible. This was demonstrated by his staging of Shakespeare's Henry VI in an 18-hour continuous performance, to which he then added Richard III for a new 24-hour performance.
At 40 years old, Jolly has become a leading director. Whether he takes on modern or classical works, he does not hesitate to mix formats and explore new artistic forms on the borderline between theatre, rock opera, cinema and series.
In November 2022, he will present the remake of the legendary musical Starmania, and in 2023 he will stage Romeo and Juliet at the Paris Opera.