Suspect arrested for stabbing French theatre director

Alain Francon, one of France's most prolific theatre directors, was stabbed in the throat and left on the ground bleeding near his Montpellier hotel
Alain Francon, one of France's most prolific theatre directors, was stabbed in the throat and left on the ground bleeding near his Montpellier hotel FRED DUFOUR AFP/File
Advertising

Montpellier (France) (AFP)

A man has admitted to stabbing a 76-year-old leading French theatre director in the street because he gave him a "nasty look", prosecutors said Friday.

The 35-year-old, who had previously been sentenced to 10 years in jail for drugs, was due to appear before a judge later in the day and may face a charge of attempted murder, the Montpellier prosecutor's office said.

Alain Francon, one of France's most prolific theatre directors, was stabbed in the throat and left on the ground bleeding on March 17 near his hotel in the southern city.

Francon, who founded the avant-garde Theatre Eclate (Shattered Theatre) troupe in the 1970's, said he remembered someone "bumping into" him without saying a word and that he saw his attacker run off.

Police had used video surveillance cameras in the city centre to track the suspect, the prosecutors said.

The man was detained outside his apartment on Thursday and had at first denied everything until his final interview, said Jacques-Philippe Redon for the prosecutor's office.

Francon took charge of the prestigious national theatre La Colline in Paris in 1996 and won a Moliere award for his staging of Edward Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf?" in 2016.