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Immersion among the companions of the Liberation

Boulevard de la Tour-Maubourg, at 51 bis.

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Immersion among the companions of the Liberation

Boulevard de la Tour-Maubourg, at 51 bis. “Black grid. Ring the intercom. Home,” it says. Here houses the Museum of the Order of the Liberation of Paris. “ Are you coming for the tour? », asks Leslie Houam, responsible for audience development. A green beret on his head, near a reproduction of General de Gaulle in black and white, the actor Xavier Depoix, who plays Hubert Germain, companion who died in 2021, lists the names of his peers who died for France.

There are 1,038 people, including six women, who fought the Germans during the Second World War. “I don’t necessarily know who they are, but I know why they are there,” says the actor. “On June 14, 1940, I was in Bordeaux,” he continues. We just heard that the Germans have entered Paris, follow me! » Leslie Houam follows suit with an old radio.

Xavier Depoix leaves “the testing room” to “go to war”. Direction England, then the call of June 18. “Be careful, there's a bombing, run, don't go that way, it's dangerous,” warns resistance fighter Émilienne Moreau-Évrard, known as Émilienne la Blonde, alias Ambre Kuropatwa. Nicolas Dereatti in turn appears in the costume of aviator Pierre Clostermann. “ Do you know The Little Prince by Saint-Exupéry? ", he asks. Visitors are invited to take a staircase normally closed to the public to go to the upper floor where a “secret meeting” is being held. Later, we meet Geneviève de Gaulle Anthonioz at the Ravensbrück camp bunker who discovers the handkerchief that a friend embroidered for her for Christmas.

Also read: The heroic epic of the companions of the Liberation

Once a month, the Ankréation company summons the figures of Max, Jean Moulin, Pierre Brossolette and Charles Delestraint. Jérôme Ragon's costumes cover the tables in the Hubert Germain room, transformed into a dressing room for the occasion. “We are in total immersion, we abolish the fourth wall, the audience plays a character,” explains Ambre Kuropatwa, also artistic director of the company. We must give information and life. We're looking for an excuse to talk to people. For Geneviève de Gaulle Anthonioz, I was inspired by her book, La Traversée de la nuit. The Museum of the Order of the Liberation discovered us in 2019 during our theatrical visit to the Château de Monte-Cristo, the home of Alexandre Dumas, in Marly-le-Roi. We had two months to write a story. Each actor writes their character and sometimes we have fun writing for each other. »

The Ankréation company has already intervened in Chatou (Yvelines) to resurrect Renoir, Manet or Turner, at the Nîmes Arena to approach the gladiators. This summer, she will be in Saint-Germain-en-Laye (Yvelines) to talk about Madame de Maintenon, Louis XIV and Napoleon. “In addition to purely historical work, we must extract as much information as possible about the psychology of the characters in order to portray them truthfully,” observes Ambre Kuropatwa. The costume designer carries out meticulous reconstruction work. We go from a disguise to a real theater costume. »

“ Ah, Madam, did it happen like that? », marvels a little boy at the end of the free visit. That day, forty people had registered, but only half came. “We had to turn away people,” regrets Leslie Houam. Next date, May 18 for Museum Night. or

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