Pierre
Vial

Sociétaire honoraire

More than five decades of the history and of the fate of the French theater inhabit the memory of Pierre Vial, molding it into a body of reminiscences and recollections.

This young trainee actor was utterly swayed when he discovered Bertolt Brecht and the actress Helen Weigel, who had come along with the Berliner Ensemble to play at the Théâtre des Nations in Paris in the early fifties. Upon his return home from the Algerian War, acting epitomized fresh air breathed into the life of the youth; for acting actually constituted a rebirth, a job he carried out with calm and plenty of rigor, letting time, just like a leading wire, slip through his hands during this voyage of initiation.

Enrolled at the Comédie-Française on March 27, 1989, Pierre Vial became its 513rd sociétaire on January 1, 2005. Hired by Antoine Vitez, he made his début performing the roles of Touchstone and William in Shakespeare’s As You Like It, staged by Lluis Pasqual (1988). Furthermore, he played Philippe Strozzi in Alfred de Musset’s Lorenzaccio put on stage by Georges Lavaudant (1988) and Foresight in William Congreve’s Love for Love directed by André Steiger (1989).

Jean-Pierre Vincent cast him for the role of Mister Fal in Beaumarchais’ The Guilty Mother (La Mère coupable) staged at the Salle Richelieu (1989). Alongside Roland Bertin, Vial embodied Priuli in Bertolt Brecht’s The Life of Galileo (La vie de Galilée), the last play staged by Antoine Vitez in a stunningly dusky scenography by Yannis Kokkos. In 1992, he played the roles, respectively, of Chorus in Sophocles’ Antigone put on stage by Otomar Krejca, of Signor Agapito in Carlo Goldoni’s La Serva Amorosa (The Loving Maid) directed by Jacques Lassalle, of Theramenes in Racine’s Phèdre under the direction of Anne Delbée (1995), of Liapkine-Tiapkine in Gogol’s The Government Inspector (The Revizor) directed by Jean-Louis Benoit (1999), and of Nazaire in Eugène Labiche’s Le Mystère de la rue Rousselet in a staging by Thierry de Peretti (2003). Moreover, he played Herod and the Chorus in a selection of texts from the Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa, The Privilege of the Pathways (Le Privilège des chemins), conceived and put on stage by Éric Génovèse in 2004, as well as L’Homme aux cannes and Vieille 1 in Philippe Minyana’s La Maison des morts put on stage by Robert Cantarella at the Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier during the 2006/2007 season.

He also performed the roles of Gorgibusin Molière’s The Precious Ridiculous (Les Précieuses ridicules) put on stage by Dan Jemmet at the Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier in 2007, of Monsieur Perrichon in Eugène Labiche’s Le Voyage de Monsieur Perrichon directed by Julie Brochen, and of Escartefigue and le chauffeur of Mr. Panissein Marcel Pagnol’s Fanny staged by Irène Bonnaud, again at the Théâtre du Vieux-Colombier in 2009.

Outside the realm of the Comédie-Française, Pierre Vial taught notably at the Conservatoire national d’art dramatique (National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts) of Paris between 1975 and 1993 as well as at the Théâtre national de Chaillot since 1998. He was named director of the Comédie de Saint-Etienne between 1970 and 1975.

On stage, he played in Beaumarchais’The Marriage of Figaro staged by Jean-Pierre Vincent (1987), in Chekhov’s The Seagull in a staging by Andreï Konchalovsky, restaged by Giorgio Strehler at L’Odéon-Théâtre de l’Europe (1989), and in Eugene O’Neill’s Anna Christie directed by Philippe Clévenot at the Comédie de Genève in 2000. On his career path, he would accompany Antoine Vitezfor more than fifteen years, starting with the Théâtre des Quartiers d’Ivry to the Théâtre national de Chaillot, and finally, to the Comédie-Française. Pierre Vial took part in a large number of the latter’s outstanding productions, most notably in Shakespeare’s Hamlet in which he performed the role of Polonius (1983) as well as in the legendary spectacle of Paul Claudel’s The Satin Slipper (1987).

From 1998, he took an active part in the Association des rencontres internationales artistiques (ARIA –Association of International Theater Meeting) project founded in Corsica by actor Robin Renucci, through a variety of areas, namely inacting, reciting and directing.

In the cinema, he collaborated with Bernard Revon on the latter’s movie The Rascals (Les Turlupins) in 1980, with Georges Wilson on his movie La Vouivre (1989), and with Jean-Marie Poiré on his popular comedy The Visitors - Les Visiteurs I and II (1993 – 1997).

He put on stage Ugo Betti’s The Flood (Le Déluge), Corneille’s L’Illusion comique as well as Jean Audureau’s La Lève.

Pierre Vial left the Troupe on December 31, 2010.

At the Comédie-Française

2014-2015

2011-2012

2010-2011

2009-2010

2008-2009

2007-2008

2006-2007

  • Sur la grand-route

    by Anton Tchekhov Directed by Guillaume Gallienne

    Savva, vieillard errant

    Studio

  • Les Temps difficiles

    by Édouard Bourdet Directed by Jean-Claude Berutti

    Cyprien (en alternance)

    Vx-Colombier

  • Cinq dramaticules

    by Samuel Beckett Directed by Jean Dautremay

    Studio

2005-2006

  • Tête d'Or

    by Paul Claudel Directed by Anne Delbée

    Père de la femme morte, Eumère, le Commandant

    Vx-Colombier

  • La Maison des morts

    by Philippe Minyana Directed by Robert Cantarella

    l'Homme aux cannes et Vieille 1

    Vx-Colombier

2004-2005

2003-2004

2002-2003

  • Monsieur de Pourceaugnac

    by Molière Directed by Philippe Adrien

    Deuxième Médecin, un Suisse

    Vx-Colombier

  • Présences

    by Yacine Kateb Directed by Mohamed Kacimi

    Richelieu

  • Ruy Blas

    by Victor Hugo Directed by Brigitte Jaques-Wajeman

    le Marquis de Santa Cruz et Covadenga

    Richelieu

  • Le Dindon

    by Georges Feydeau Directed by Lukas Hemleb

    The Manager

    Richelieu

  • Dom Juan ou le Festin de pierre

    Dom Juan or the Feast with the Statue by Molière Directed by Jacques Lassalle

    The Beggar

    Richelieu

2001-2002

2000-2001

  • Le Mariage

    The Wedding by Witold Gombrowicz Directed by Jacques Rosner

    le Chancelier

    Richelieu

  • Le Révizor

    by Nikolaï Gogol Directed by Jean-Louis Benoit

    Ammos Fiodorovitch Liapkine-Tiapkine

    Richelieu

1999-2000

1998-1999

  • Rodogune

    by Pierre Corneille Directed by Jacques Rosner

    Timagène

    Richelieu

  • Le Révizor

    by Nikolaï Gogol Directed by Jean-Louis Benoit

    Ammos Fiodorovitch Liapkine-Tiapkine

    Richelieu

1997-1998

  • Rodogune

    by Pierre Corneille Directed by Jacques Rosner

    Timagène

    Richelieu

1996-1997

  • Phèdre

    by Jean Racine Directed by Anne Delbée

    Théramène

    Richelieu

1995-1996

  • Mille francs de récompense

    by Victor Hugo Directed by Jean-Paul Roussillon

    Scabeau

    Richelieu

  • Le Misanthrope

    The Misanthrope by Molière Directed by Simon Eine

    A Guard (alternating)

    Richelieu

  • Phèdre

    by Jean Racine Directed by Anne Delbée

    Théramène

    Richelieu

1994-1995

1993-1994

  • Caligula

    by Albert Camus Directed by Youssef Chahine

    Octavius

    Richelieu

  • Hamlet

    by William Shakespeare Directed by Georges Lavaudant

    Valtemand, Osric

    Richelieu

  • La Serva amorosa

    by Carlo Goldoni Directed by Jacques Lassalle

    Maître Agapito (alternating)

    Richelieu

  • Le Faiseur

    by Honoré de Balzac Directed by Jean-Paul Roussillon

    Violette (alternating)

    Richelieu

  • Antigone

    by Sophocle Directed by Otomar Krejca

    le Chœur

    Richelieu

1992-1993

  • Le Faiseur

    by Honoré de Balzac Directed by Jean-Paul Roussillon

    Violette

    Richelieu

  • La Serva amorosa

    by Carlo Goldoni Directed by Jacques Lassalle

    Maître Agapito

    Richelieu

  • La Comtesse d'Escarbagnas

    by Molière Directed by Jacques Lassalle

    M. Tibaudier (en alternance)

    Richelieu

  • Antigone

    by Sophocle Directed by Otomar Krejca

    le Chœur

    Richelieu

1991-1992

1990-1991

  • La Nuit de l'iguane

    by Tennessee Williams Directed by Brigitte Jaques-Wajeman

    Nonno

    Odéon

  • La Mère coupable

    by Beaumarchais Directed by Jean-Pierre Vincent

    Monsieur Fal

    Richelieu

  • Le Mariage de Figaro

    by Beaumarchais Directed by Antoine Vitez

    Bazile (alternatly)

    Richelieu

  • Le Barbier de Séville

    by Beaumarchais Directed by Jean-Luc Boutté

    le Notaire (en alternance)

    Richelieu

  • Lorenzaccio

    by Alfred de Musset Directed by Georges Lavaudant

    Philippe Strozzi

    Richelieu

  • La Vie de Galilée

    Life of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht Directed by Antoine Vitez

    Priuli ; un Paysan

    Richelieu

1989-1990

  • La Vie de Galilée

    Life of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht Directed by Antoine Vitez

    Priuli ; un Paysan

    Richelieu

  • La Mère coupable

    by Beaumarchais Directed by Jean-Pierre Vincent

    Monsieur Fal ; le Notaire

    Richelieu

  • Comme il vous plaira

    by William Shakespeare Directed by Lluis Pasqual

    Pierre Detouche ; William

    Richelieu

  • Lorenzaccio

    by Alfred de Musset Directed by Georges Lavaudant

    Philippe Strozzi

    Richelieu

  • Amour pour amour

    by William Congreve Directed by André Steiger

    Foresight

    Richelieu

1988-1989

  • Amour pour amour

    by William Congreve Directed by André Steiger

    Foresight

    Richelieu

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