“Free placement” at the Théâtre Rive Gauche to follow the master class of Maxime d’Aboville, 43 years old. In the front row, students from the brand new Académie Aparté (Professional Academy of the Arts for the influence of theater and teaching), located on rue de la Gaîté, in Paris, who will perform scenes under his benevolent gaze.
Co-founder of the Aparté Academy, Delphine Depardieu recalls that the actor received two Molières, one for the best private theater show for The Servant, by Robin Maugham directed by Thierry Harcourt. The other for Berlin Berlin, by Gérald Sibleyras and Patrick Haudecœur. But Maxime d’Aboville doesn’t lead much behind the scenes. This is the first time that he has undertaken this exercise in front of an audience of around 150 people who paid 15 euros to be present.
Delphine Depardieu is the mistress of ceremonies. Between Alain Decaux and Bernard Pivot, the niece of Gérard Depardieu recalls that the school she runs with Axel Blind, Arnaud Denis and Charles Bonnier gives an artist the opportunity to “transmit” his knowledge. As in a literary show, on the set sit two armchairs around a coffee table on which two bottles of water are placed.
Feverish, in a sweater, vest and jeans, Maxime d’Aboville enters to applause. “Usually, I know my lines!”, he says as he settles down. “Why did you study law before theater?” Delphine Depardieu asks him. “Not knowing what to do, I studied law,” replies the actor with a laugh. In Bordeaux, after enrolling in the theater workshop at his high school. His interlocutor looks to see if the room is following. She follows. “I have always had difficulty making decisions,” continues the former student of Jean-Laurent Cochet. “I told myself that if I passed the lawyer exam, I would devote myself to theater.” The academy students are bent double.
Also read: Maxime d’Aboville: “The irony of the story is that I should be playing behind closed doors”
Having attended the Birmingham Theater School in England – “My level of English was average” – Maxime d’Aboville was looking for a “serious place” to study drama. He found it with the Cours Cochet, in Paris. Disappeared in 2020, the professor who trained Emmanuelle Béart, Carole Bouquet, Michel Duchaussoy and Bernard Giraudeau left his mark. “If someone had the misfortune to cough, they would yell: “Get out!, Get out of here!”,” the hilarious actor imitates. “He talked a lot,” remembers his flock who are also not tongue-tied. What does he think is the ideal training? “You really have to want it, not hesitate to get discouraged, and be very honest with yourself.”
Cochet practiced the “cult of the author”. Like another master of Maxime d’Aboville, Michel Bouquet. “It’s less paralyzing; more reassuring to hear the author, not to be focused on his narcissistic person,” insists the actor. He takes the opportunity to announce that he is going to play Pauvre Bitos with Adel Djemal and Francis Lombrail at the Théâtre Hébertot, from February 9, “at 7 p.m., the best time,” he whispers, perhaps still in suspense. Jean Anouilh had written this piece for Michel Bouquet, he indicates while blowing his nose. Delphine Depardieu swallows a sip of water. His “guest” won’t touch his bottle before putting the students on the grill. “What does he expect from a director?” she asks.
Maxime d’Aboville once again borrows the voice of Michel Bouquet, raises his hands towards the hangers and asserts: “Don’t let him piss me off!”. The amused spectators nod their heads. “As for Thierry Harcourt who directs me in Pauvre Bitos and for Jean-Laurent Cochet, nothing should be seen,” he adds. His advice for actors: “They have to take charge, take advantage of the classes and try to put together projects.” Maxime d'Aboville pays tribute to the producer Pierre Bonnier who spotted him in the cellar of the Chat Noir when he was playing alone on stage Diary of a Country Priest, by Georges Bernanos. This stage enthusiast produced it at the Théâtre des Mathurins in 2010.
Technicians clear the set. Daria Maltseva and Alixia Langlais, respectively Armande and Henriette, will perform scene 1 of Act I of Les Femmes savantes by Molière. With one buttock propped up on a table, Maxime d’Aboville tries his hand at directing. “What, the beautiful girl’s name is a title, my sister, whose charming sweetness you want to leave? And to get married, do you dare to celebrate? Can this vulgar design get into your head?” begins Daria. “Yes, my sister,” confirms Alixia. “Excuse me, we were talking about listening earlier, you have to be available,” interrupts the novice director.
Paloma Duchesne and Benjamin Hauser then tackle L'Alouette d'Anouilh played by Suzanne Flon and Michel Bouquet. Maxime d’Aboville explains the playwright’s different plays. “Breathe!”, he recommends to the young woman. “It’s like in sport, we catch the ball!” “Maxime is a very good customer,” confides Delphine Depardieu at the end. We organized this evening for young people who want to practice this profession. It took place in a family atmosphere. We want to create a pool of new artists. We offer professional training courses.” The next master class will be given on February 26 by Béatrice Agenin who will be received by the actor Arthur Cachia.