“The Testament of Mary” by Colm Toibin and Deborah Warner

Dominique Blanc is on stage for 80 mins directed by Deborah Warner and with  lighting by Jean Kalman

The reviews were so horrendous that I almost did not show up for the performance of Colm Toibin’s play “The Testament of Mary” at théâtre de l’Odéon. But I am a complete fan of British director Deborah Warner and was curious to see (on stage) Comédie française actress Dominique Blanc. The theme, Mary’s vision of her son Jesus Christ’s passion did not especially tempt me either. Yet the emotion is total and the new vision of Mary as a mother quite fascinating.Read More

Courson to Chantilly, a true success

Jean François Diriart, general manager, and Prince Amyn Aga Khan announcing the Prizes

Attending the Journées des plantes in Chantilly (formerly in Courson), twice a year in October and in May, could sound repetitive, but for me it is a renewed and awaited pleasure for I discover new gardners and new plants every time. Last week, the sun was shining, Prince Amyn Aga Khan was running around buying plants for his garden in Geneva and I fell in love with geraniums and a greenhouse that I would love to convert into an office.Read More

The new government, what a good surprise!

Prime minister Edouard Philippe is a writer and an amateur boxer

What a series of amazing surprises have happened this week in France with the nomination of 22 new ministers. Emmanuel Macron had promised many women and some experts. We got both. With Prime minister Edouard Phiippe at the helm, his town of Le Havre in Normandy is put forward. He is slick, wears the trendy beard and light navy blue suits that seem to be the uniform of his generation.  And he learnt live on TV that there is a boxing room at Matignon, his new residence.

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Claude Iverné, at Fondation Henri Cartier Bresson

Mnaïma Adjak / Peuple Shénabla / Clan Awasma / Dar Jawama / Kordofan Nord / August 2001© Claude Iverné – Elnour

The two floors of Fondation Cartier Bresson on Impasse Lebouis, were particularly vibrant for the opening of Claude Iverné’s « Bilad es Sudan » exhibition of photographs of North and South Sudan.Read More

“Etiquette at Versailles” by Daria Galateria

Daria Galateria is a university professor in Rome and writes for la Republica on French literature. She is standing here on her Rome terrace near the Pantheon

A specialist of Marcel Proust and 17 th century French litterature, Daria Galateria has always followed the French scene for Italian newspapers and her Sapienza university students. She shares her life between Saint German des Près in Paris, the Pantheon in central Rome and the city of Trappani where she writes and swims on the islands of Southern Sicily. Her latest book on “Etiquette at the court of Versailles” is just coming out in Paris.Read More

Normandy’s inspired writers

Gaston Leroux wrote about château d’Eu, where Louis Philippe received Queen Victoria

It is always a great pleasure to attend an opening at Jérôme Marcadé’s gallery near Théâtre de l’Odéon. « Jardins en Art » is a very special spot with a lovely courtyard for cocktail parties, and a good selection of sculptures, photographs, paintings and mostly, books on gardens. This time the owner was presenting his own book « Lieux d’inspiration », Houses and gardens of writers in Normandy, with Sipa photographer Benoît Delplanque who spent a year catching the different seasons.Read More

Thaddaeus Ropac in Mayfair, and more London goodies

Olivier Beer, “Devils”, live sound installation: 16 antique and modern vessels at Thaddaeus Ropac on Dover street

London is always full of news and this time, it was of Christie’s auctioneers  reshufflings of their team and François Curiel being made chairman of Europe and based in Geneva. Thaddaeus Ropac, the dashing galerist established in Salzburg and Paris, opened his new super chic London house on Dover Street. And before visiting the very large David Hockney retrospective at Tate Britain,  lunch at the Ritz was a real discovery.Read More

“Big Trouble” in Montmartre

The view from la Halle Saint Pierre where “Grand Trouble” is taking place

The title of the exhibition « Grand Trouble » is a reference to our world, full of incertitudes, brutality and  cruelty but also full of dreams, friendships and beauty. The forty or so artists assembled by Martine Lusardy who founded la Halle Saint Pierre in Montmartre are mostly friends. A small group led by Frédéric Pajak invited other artists and the result is a fun and very diverse show of caricaturists, photographers, sculptors and painters who invested the Paris temple of Art Brut in Montmartre.Read More