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Theater: Alice Taglioni, a beautiful conveyor of souls

Alice Taglioni begins in an almost light tone.

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Theater: Alice Taglioni, a beautiful conveyor of souls

Alice Taglioni begins in an almost light tone. Behind the curtain. We recognize his voice. A discussion with relatives. She was asked to perform in a show that focused on the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup of July 16 and 17, 1942. More present in the cinema than in the theater, the actress questions her legitimacy. " Why me ? I am not Jewish. » But a female voice specifies that it is always important to remember what was. In particular, the unbearable, the unspeakable. To not forget.

Alone on stage, hair tied up, in a light blue blouse and black pants, Alice Taglioni becomes a sensitive conveyor of souls. Essential. In turn, she reads archives from the Shoah Memorial, including the list of what was forbidden to Jews, and interprets letters from deportees chosen with the assistance of Sébastien Lévy. She lends her features to four courageous people who fear more for the lives of their loved ones than for themselves. Between the monologues, by way of breathing, the actress plays the piano.

Sound recordings and videos, notably from Drancy, restore the context. As in the film La Rafle, by Roselyne Bosch (2010), everything is true. A male voice recalls the history of the place, the Vel' d'Hiv', the Winter Velodrome, a stadium originally designed for sporting competitions. And not, of course, to detain the 13,152 Jewish people arrested at their homes at dawn by the Parisian police. “ They weren’t Germans, they were French,” one wrote. A circular from the police headquarters stipulates that “children under 16 will be taken at the same time as the parents”, indicates Alice Taglioni in the most neutral tone possible.

After Vel' d'Hiv', the victims were deported to the camps of Drancy or Beaune-la-Rolande (Loiret), and exterminated at Auschwitz-Birkenau. The statement of facts is enough. Words don't need artifice. On the stage of the Théâtre Antoine, Alice Taglioni carries out memory work in her own way. Without judgment. We feel her moved. At times, her gaze seems about to waver, but she remains focused in front of the camera installed on the stage.

Alex Lutz directs a production in tune with an office setting. Sober, simple and dignified. Almost documentary, this show is full of humanity. Alice Taglioni and the director can only congratulate themselves on making it exist.

Vel' d'Hiv, at the Théâtre Antoine (Paris 10th), until February 10. Reservations: 01 42 08 14 80.

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