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At La Scala, Mathilde Charbonneaux is Madame M., Jacqueline Maillan

Those who know Jacqueline Maillan will recognize her, others will discover her colorful personality in Madame M.

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At La Scala, Mathilde Charbonneaux is Madame M., Jacqueline Maillan

Those who know Jacqueline Maillan will recognize her, others will discover her colorful personality in Madame M., a show conceived and created in October 2023 by Mathilde Charbonneaux at the little theater La Flèche, in the 11th arrondissement of Paris. Short blonde wig framing mischievous eyes, blue flowered dress (signed Lucile Charvet), with the complicity of Pia Lagrange, the actress resurrects her idol. It has merit, because even if the subject is attractive, attracting people at 9:30 p.m. is not easy. Let's hope that word of mouth develops at the speed of a TGV.

Originally from La Rochelle, Mathilde Charbonneaux pays tribute to the queen of the boulevard, who died on May 12, 1992, at the age of 69. She looks back on the 100th anniversary of his birth, on January 11, 1923 in Paray-le-Monial, in Saône-et-Loire. Jacqueline Maillan had to overcome various obstacles before triumphing in the show “ At the theater tonight”. Her worthy reincarnation thinks she is performing at the Michodière, then realizes that she is mixing places and times: “No, it’s not La Scala in Milan, it’s La Scala in Strasbourg-Saint-Denis.” , she repeats on the phone (a Bakelite model that people under 20 cannot imagine).

Gifted, Mathilde Charbonneaux vividly embodies “characters”, including her own, “Mathilde”, and other figures such as that of the husband of the interpreter of Folle Amanda, the composer Michel Emer. La Maillan, "as they say 'la Callas'", explains the actress, exploded in 1963, in Pouic-Pouic, the comedy by Jean Girault where she is married to Louis de Funès. Previously, she clowned at school and took lessons from René Simon. The illustrious professor points out to the debutante that she is not a tragedian, but will become a famous comedian. There was also Patrice Chéreau.

And yes, Jacqueline Maillan has not only played “potiche” roles. The one who was described as “de Funès en petticoats”, played Le Retour au desert, under her direction, at the Théâtre Renaud-Barrault, in 1988. Bernard-Marie Koltès had written the role of the bourgeois Mathilde Serpenoise partly for her . Through Mathilde Charbonneaux's performance, a fragile woman emerges who doubted and provoked more laughter on stage than in life.

Noticed in The Nest of Ashes and The Stars by Simon Falguières, his fan recalls him in an hour-long show that passes like a dream. “You remind us of Jacqueline Maillan,” the audience said to Mathilde Charbonneaux. She, trained at the Cours Florent and at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Art, has documented herself at length to reconstruct the page of a singular journey. Excerpts from interviews, notably given to Jacques Chancel, allow us to rehear the instantly recognizable voice of “a normal woman”. Jacqueline Maillan is not dead, long live Jacqueline Maillan!

Until June 21, at La Scala (Paris 10th). Loc. : 01 40 03 44 30.

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