La Fontaine, Hugo… Fabrice Luchini, wizard of words

Fabrice Luchini has a passion, an obsession to restore their beauty and nuances to the masterpieces of the French language. ERIC GARAULT

PORTRAIT – In a new superb and stripped-down play, the actor reads Victor Hugo. Since 1985 and his first readings of Céline, he has led his audience on a tireless aesthetic quest in search of the right note.

It’s impossible to know if he still has stage fright. A few minutes before going on stage, he can talk on the phone and talk about literature or politics. “I’ll give you a few minutes, I have to say a few words to them”, Guitry told his stagehand before the curtain rose, Luchini hung up the phone in his usual happiness. The chatter died down. The lights go out. Silence is needed. The actor enters the autumnal chiaroscuro. There was applause. He sits still, opens the manuscript as if reading by the fire. “I have lived long enough, because in my pain…”, Victor Hugo’s verb fills the space. Minds clear. The internal dialogue continues. “I walk without finding hands to help me, / Because I hardly laugh at the children around me.”

We are at the Théâtre du Petit Saint-Martin, one evening in October, at the premiere of a reading of Victor Hugo by Fabrice Luchini. At the entrance, one could believe in a conspiracy. A big…

This article is reserved for subscribers. You still have 91% to discover.

Black Friday

-70% on digital subscription

Already subscribed? Apply

Leave a Comment