She shines in the midst of her male partners Éric Elmosnino, Félix Moati and Gabor Rassov. Biting her lip a little, she nods gently, fixing the room with a shining gaze, as if to convince herself of the reality of the moment. She was so scared, Vanessa Paradis, that she takes the time to savor the standing ovation and these insistent reminders that the audience of the Théâtre Edouard-VII has in store for her on this Tuesday night of premiere.
With the play “Maman”, written and directed by her husband Samuel Benchetrit, the singer and actress takes the stage for the first time. Standing, she greets with an intensity and an emotion contained her very first audience of theater.
The beginnings of Paradis in the theater, eagerly awaited, of course. We wanted to discover them with the spectators of the first evening, too impatient. By paying. “Did you buy your tickets?” No, you are invited. So what are you complaining about? »She had launched, annoyed, in an interview last week. No complaint, but a simple question on the price of certain places – 98 euros in gold square – price for the least unusual. She hadn’t had a say, she replied.
A little steep at first
This is the price we paid, therefore, this Tuesday. There were a few places left, not many, the hall is quite full when she appears on stage to heavy applause. “Mum,” we read in letters above the shop she’s closing. She is Jeanne who goes out in this gray and dirty street one evening before Christmas. Taking her for a prostitute, a young man (Moati) accosts her. A lost one that she will want to take under her wing, taking her husband Bernard (Elmosnino) on board in this funny evening oscillating between laughter and seriousness, comedy and drama.
We feel the actress is a little stiff, she will gain flexibility over the course of the piece. It’s still a little green, of course, its interpretation too, but already we notice the staging and this rhythm imposing a kind of latency, of distance between words and bodies. It supports the point, but makes the whole a little cold although it exudes tenderness and poetry. In the end, the room rises for the evening queen. At the exit, the public is benevolent but shared.
A big fan of Vanessa, Anita felt her “very comfortable despite two or three small wrong notes, let’s say, the stage fright”, but delighted in every moment. “It was great, I loved it, what is Vanessa,” she breathes while waiting for the singer in front of the theater. “It’s hard to separate knowing that she is there,” she smiles.
“I was curious to see Vanessa Paradis and I loved it”
A few meters away, four girlfriends. None of them are fans. “I was curious to see Vanessa Paradis and I loved it, it’s very touching, funny and fresh,” says Tania. “She plays well,” notes Vessala, seduced.
“I had the impression of having come before the premiere, I told myself that they were not yet in it,” said Piroska for her part, a little surprised at what she saw. In the center, Sylvia, she is fuming. And do not mince his words: “It’s flat, she speaks in a monotonous way and the subject sucks,” she says. This ovation annoyed me, really, I am very disappointed. “
Beside, Sylvain has been following Samuel Benchetrit’s work for years. And liked. “With him, life becomes sacred again and we want to take advantage of every moment because we have a chance to be there,” he analyzes. “Vanessa Paradis has a natural presence and a voice that makes it work really well in the theater, I found her great”, thinks Alexandra who accompanies her.
Again, a small group. Regulars of the theater where they go once or twice a week. Opinions are mixed. “We are not really enthusiastic, it takes a little time to start, the first half hour is slow, then there is a great story,” says Stéphane. “It’s well written, there is a real emotion and a real poetry, tenderness”, notes Thierry. For him, Vanessa Paradis “has talent and offers a great performance”.
“Disappointed”, Laurence and Valérie are much more critical. “It lacked rhythm and the ovation at the end, I did not understand, it was too much, thinks the first. We saw Anconina, the first, a fortnight ago in “Guilty”, and there we were thrilled. Truly. There, we do not have the same enthusiasm, we found that it was, well, here it is, good but not incredible. “” There were irregularities in the interpretations, it lacked truth, sometimes accuracy “, notes Valerie. “She has a presence all the same, intervenes Sabine. There are delays, but also a real sensitivity. Me it touched me. “
What makes everyone agree is the high price of places. “98 euros a gold square, it stings! »Ticks Thierry. “We had the chance to go through my CE, otherwise we wouldn’t come, that’s for sure,” Sabine slips. “I would have been really very disappointed if I had paid this price, breathes Laurence. It’s not worth it, we’ve seen better ones for less. “