Jacques Nichet devoted his life to theatre. He was inhabited by the desire to play everything, with an insatiable will to grasp the world with his arms, to foil it by mocking it on stage. Behind the serious and modest facade was a whimsical man with a sharp irony.

A former student of the Ecole Normale supérieure, he founded a university theatre troupe, the Aquarium, in 1965. He studied classics and taught in Paris VIII. At the same time, in 1972, with about fifteen artists, including Didier Bezace and Jean-Louis Benoît, he created the Théâtre de l'Aquarium at the Cartoucherie de Vincennes, giving birth to one of the great adventures of French theatre. In 1986, he was called upon to direct the Théâtre des 13 vents, Montpellier’s national drama centre, and from 1998 to 2007, the Théâtre National de Toulouse. He continued his artistic activities in company.

During the academic year 2009-2010, he held the chair of artistic creation at the Collège de France.

Jacques Nichet’s artistic life was marked by major productions, the rediscovery of authors of the repertoire who were unjustly forgotten and despised, and a visceral attachment to defending authors. Jacques Nichet was a polymorphic artist, unclassifiable, always unexpected, where he used successively montages of texts, adaptations of nontheatrical works or rereadings of texts little or not known to build a single work.

Very keen to share texts from all over the world, he also founded, with Jean-Michel Déprats, the International Centre for Theatre Translation which will become La Maison Antoine Vitez. Jacques Nichet himself will stage a number of authors from Italy, Israel, Australia and England, whom he has discovered.

Franck Riester, Minister of Culture, pays tribute to this intellectual and man of the theatre, who knew how to mark the time with his singular imprint, by his work of direction and playwright, by his successive directions of national drama centers particularly turned towards sharing with other artists ».

The minister extends his condolences to his entire family and those who were close to him.