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Pauline Bureau
photo : DR
Actes du théâtre n° 81.[ imprimer ]
Sirènes blends four stories over three time periods and on two continents.
1966: Annie lives in Le Havre. Her husband, a captain at sea, leaves and never returns.
1983: Hélène, a graduate of a top business school, is pregnant when she learns of the death of her father, from whom she hadn’t heard in several years.
2013: Max, a businessman, lives a solitary existence in exile in Shanghai. Aurore, a singer, loses her voice in the middle of a performance in Paris and goes to see a doctor. He can’t do anything for her. Feeling a need to talk, she goes to see a psychoanalyst:
‘‘Talking will bring your back voice.’’

‘‘Pauline Bureau follows her own course. For four years she has been exploring more personal themes, working on what is unspoken in families and the issue of identity, as well as what makes a story collective. In Sirènes, she brings three eras into play on two continents, splitting up the stage into different periods, genres and disciplines.’’
Frédérique Roussel, May 14, 2014, Libération

‘‘You always feel affected by Pauline Bureau’s productions, smiling at them and also getting swept up in them. You come out feeling vibrant and energized because they’re uplifting, and moving too. There’s something militant about them, in the most joyful sense of the term.’’
Laure Adler, Studio-Théâtre France Inter, November 14, 2014

‘‘This show is like life – full of love, disillusionment and hope. And behind the buried memories there is great energy. Pauline Bureau mixes songs and dialogue in a pop rock atmosphere. Fine work – sensitive and well written.’’
Stéphane Capron, France Inter, March 2014

‘‘Pauline Bureau’s plays are precise and contemporary, displaying a fine impulse to tell stories - and to bring to light the ghosts hanging over our lives.’’
Manuel Piolat Soleymat, March 2014, La Terrasse

‘‘In this perfectly well-oiled family saga, Pauline Bureau and the fabulous actors in her company, La Part des anges, explore the burden of secrets and the unspoken, the ‘ravages’ of a mother-daughter relationship, and a father who never comes home. It’s exciting, gripping and filled with a deeply moving suspense.’’
Sarah Gandillot, Causette, March 2014

Opened at the CDN de Dijon, January 21-25, 2014. Then in Chatenay-Malabry, La Faïencerie Creil, La Foudre Scène nationale de Petit-Quevilly, CDN de Montreuil, Le Volcan, Scène nationale du Havre, La Comédie de Picardie à Amiens, Le Préau CDR de Vire, La Comédie de Bethune CDN de Béthune, Théâtre du Rond-Point Paris from November 4-December 6, 2014; March 2015, Centre culturel de Cesson-Sévigné, Le Prisme d'Elancourt, Centre culturel de Chevilly-Larue. On tour next season.

Directed by the playwright. Cast: Philippe Awat, Yann Burlot, Nicolas Chupin, Vincent Hulot, Géraldine Martineau, Marie Nicolle, Anne Rotger, Catherine Vinatier.

Characters : 4 women - 4 men - 9 women, 11 men that can be performed by 4 women, 4 men
Editions Actes-Sud Papiers -

A restaurant.

HÉLÈNE Happy Birthday, darling.

AURORE Thanks.

HÉLÈNE (looking at her watch) You’d been born for ten minutes already by this time. You’re exactly the same age I was when I had you. Just after defending my Ph.D at business school. Summa cum laude.

AURORE Why did you say that?

HÉLÈNE Because it’s true. (Aurore’s phone rings.) It’s Basile.


HÉLÈNE Aren’t you going to answer it?

AURORE No, the doctor advised me against talking on the phone in public places. It’s bad for the voice.

HÉLÈNE Your voice thing still isn’t better?

AURORE No, not really.

HÉLÈNE It’s funny, losing your voice. When you were born we could never have imagined such a thing. If you could have heard yourself screaming. You had no trouble with your voice in those days. Piercing my eardrums all day long. Until your father would come home. Then you’d turn quiet as a mouse. Naturally. (Silence.) How is he?


HÉLÈNE Your father.

AURORE Why don’t you call him yourself.

HÉLÈNE Here, go out and buy yourself something you really want.

She hands her an envelope.

AURORE Thank you.

HÉLÈNE What will you do without your voice?

AURORE I don’t know. I’m at the end of my unemployment benefits so I need to find a solution.

HÉLÈNE There’s something unbelievable about this. Something I can’t really understand. From one day to the next your voice is gone. It’s so weird that the doctors can’t figure out what’s wrong. Don’t you want to sing anymore?

AURORE It has nothing to do with wanting to or not. I don’t know what happened. I think I got scared.

HÉLÈNE Scared?

AURORE Yes. Don’t you ever get scared?

HÉLÈNE I don’t know, Aurore. You can’t get too self-absorbed. Being scared never stopped me from earning a living.

AURORE Well my fear of being onstage does stop me. Anyway, as you may have noticed there are a lot of things stopping me.

HÉLÈNE Really?

AURORE Yes Mom, that’s why at my age I’ve got no job, no boyfriend, and no kids. And on top of it I’ve got no voice. So there you have it.

HÉLÈNE What’s got into you? Why are you looking at me like that? Did I say something wrong? Did I say something wrong? (Aurore gets up and leaves.) Aurore, what are you doing? I can’t take it. (She fishes some anti-anxiety pills out of her bag and downs one with what’s left in her glass.) She’s such a handful.