Avignon Off Festival: Letters to Anne, a love for life and death

Avignon Off Festival: Letters to Anne, a love for life and death
Avignon Off Festival: Letters to Anne, a love for life and death

The publication, and later the dramatization of this intimate correspondence, could and can seem all the more shocking because they reveal a relationship that remained secret to the general public until the funeral of its author. But one must overcome one’s reluctance to discover through this creation all the richness of these vibrant love letters, written over thirty years, from 1962 to 1995.

They first allow us to glimpse the private side of a public figure who remained rather enigmatic during his lifetime. Their style, full of lyrical and poetic flights, demonstrates remarkable literary quality. Above all, they are very touching. The sobriety of Alice Faure’s scenography and direction leaves first place to the text. Céline Roux and Samuel Churin, truly inhabited by their role, bring out all the nuances and the evolution of the couple’s feelings.

At the beginning, despite the wonder of the first meeting, the exchanges remained reserved during Anne’s two years of resistance. Coming from a very bourgeois and conservative background, she has difficulty accepting a romantic relationship with a married man much older than her. After giving in to him, she remains tempted, on several occasions, to regain her freedom to choose a more serene life. While she is thus torn between her education and her inclination for this man whom she admires and who seduces her, she oscillates between guilt and flashes of jealousy. His letters are more and more intimate, punctuated by fiery declarations. Anne was undoubtedly, not the only love of his life, but his great love. And this love finally makes her happy. The birth of Mazarine testifies to the depth of their bond.

The most beautiful and poignant letters are those from the end of Mitterrand’s life: he tells Anne about his cancer. Far from complaining, he tells her that his happiness is to think of her and to love her, that she was “the chance of his life”. So he loved her until his last breath.

At the Transversal theater, 10-12 rue d’Amphoux, at 11 a.m., from June 29 to July 21 (off on Tuesdays).

Prices: €20 / €14 (off card) / €12 (reduced) / €8 (young people) / €5 (culture patch, culture pass and Avignon conservatory) – Tel: 04 90 86 17 12 or on the Transversal theater website.

Angela Luccioni

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