Hubert Gignoux

1915 – 2008

Actor, stage director, and director of the National Dramatic Centers, Hubert Gignoux is one of the central figures of the theatrical decentralization that took place in France after 1945. While studying law and political science, he trained in theater with Léon Chancerel's Comédiens Routiers and appeared in performances of the Théâtre de l'Oncle Sébastien, a theater for young people organized by Chancerel.

Taken prisoner in 1940, he was interned in various military prison camps where he resumed his theatrical activity as an actor and then as a puppeteer with the help of Henri Cordreaux, another former Comédien Routier. In 1945, the small troupe used the Studio des Champs-Élysées in Paris to restage the puppet shows created in captivity at Oflag VIII-F: Le Mariage forcé by Molière, La Farce des moutons by Léon Chancerel after La Farce de Maître Pathelin, Le Noël des anges. In 1947, Gignoux and Cordreaux founded the Compagnie des Marionnettes des Champs-Élysées, which put on plays by Molière (La Jalousie du Barbouillé), Courteline (Hortense, couche-toi!), Lorca (Le Retable de Don Cristobal), Cocteau (Les Mariés de la Tour Eiffel) in Belgium and Paris (first at the Studio de l'avenue Montaigne, then at Les Noctambules). The company's activities ceased in 1949, when Gignoux was called to take over the direction of the Centre Dramatique de l'Ouest in Rennes.