French 'yellow vest' protesters upstage top theatre awards

Paris (AFP) –


A group of protesters from the anti-government "yellow vest" movement upstaged France's top annual theatre awards, surging onto the stage to denounce the policies of President Emmanuel Macron.

The Moliere Awards, named after France's greatest playwright, took place late Monday in the presence of Culture Minister Franck Riester at the Folies Bergere cabaret music hall.

The ceremony was broadcast on French France 2 public television later in the evening but with a delay and the incident was edited out of the broadcast.

The head of the Moliere ceremony, French theatre impressario Jean-Marc Dumontet, said the protesters had managed to access the theatre via the roof.

They then surged onto the stage, interrupting the speeches of host Alex Vizorek.

"The Moliere for indisputable dishonesty, voted unanimously by the jury, goes to Mr Macron and his government!" said a protester from the lectern, clutching a statuette of Moliere in a yellow vest.

The protesters, who demanded better conditions for freelance workers in the arts in France, eventually left the venue chanting anti-Macron slogans.

Some of the audience -- including the great and the good of French theatre -- applauded the protesters while others whistled in dismay.

Weekly protests by the yellow vests accusing the government of turning a blind eye to inequality have rocked the Macron government over the last six months.

Among the winners at the ceremony was celebrated German director Thomas Ostermeier, who picked up best show in a public theatre with "Twelfth Night" at the Comedie-Francaise.