The actress Fanny Chasseloup and her husband were in the concert hall on the evening of November 13, 2015. A year later, this survivor blackened pages to relieve her heart, but hesitated to make them public.
“I had too many blockages and too afraid that the families would think that I was instrumentalizing my story,” said the 38-year-old actress to AFP, whose husband survived his injuries.
“I then met (the director and director, editor’s note) Ariane Mnouchkine. I told her that I had no right to write all that. She replied: You don’t have the right , you have a duty. It completely unblocked me,” she recalls.
– Moving away from simple testimony –
The result is “Les Vivants”, a piece that she created in the “off” of Avignon in 2021 and performed this year in the same festival.
A punchy show where we follow Mousse (Julie Cavanna) and Léo (Benjamin Brénière), a carefree couple, lovers and rock’n’roll fans, who decide to go to the fateful Eagles of Death Metal concert.
We see Mousse dancing, as if in a trance, when we hear the sound of shots: Leo is seriously injured, she takes refuge in the toilets with others.
While she resisted the idea of getting pregnant until now, this is where she has a violent desire for a child, “a desire that was buried”, explains the author.
The director Jean-Philippe Daguerre, winner of several Molière awards who staged the show, encourages him to develop the part of “l’avant-Bataclan” to highlight the strength of love in the face of the brutality of dead.
But it is above all when she introduces a masked character into the play, who embodies her trauma, that she understands that she has taken a step back enough to be able to make a play out of it.
“I was able to play with my feelings and get away from simple testimony”, explains Fanny Chasseloup, who alternates humor and emotion during her visits to the hospital where Léo sinks into a coma or even to his psychoanalyst.
“There are spectators who have lived through difficult traumas in their lives but who have said to me: I have the impression that someone was talking to me. Only theater can transcend things like that” , adds the actress, now a mother of two children.
– “Clinging to life” –
Having been “in the wrong place at the wrong time” is what Erwan Larher also experienced. He is the author of “The Book I Didn’t Want to Write”, adapted by Pierre Azéma and Alex Metzinger, who plays the main role, also in the “off”.
The play, called “13”, recounts Erwan’s process of rebuilding through writing, after being injured at the Bataclan.
The character, accompanied live by rock music played by Pauline Gardel, is haunted by the posture in which he found himself, dog-eared, when he was shot in the buttocks.
“Play dead or he’ll finish you off with a bullet in the head. Suspension of time. You’re calm. You have to play dead. Inert. Pebble. Survive. Inert as a pebble,” he repeats.
Also haunted by this person who grabs him by the calf for a long time. “You instinctively feel it as a gesture of desperate brotherhood. (…) This person clings to you. To life”.
Finally haunted by pragmatic questions: “will I get a hard-on one day?”.
His friends urge him to write (“You have to tell!”) and bombard him with questions: “Were you afraid during those moments spent on the ground in this fucking concert hall? Afraid of what? Afraid for whom? As you for a single moment thought of death”?
Salvation comes thanks to writing, to his osteopath who recommends him to let go and to his return, finally, to a concert hall.