The morning schedule for a theatrical session did not discourage the public. Sunday, March 27, at 8:30 a.m., some three hundred people took their places at the Grandes Tables de la Friche la Belle-de-Mai, in Marseille, to listen to Nicole Ferroni’s last performance. That’s it “tour”. From bar to bar, since March 23, the actress “offer verses” to tell the story of the Phocaean city. This comedian, former columnist for the morning show of France Inter (from 2013 to 2021), becomes a poet without losing any of the energy and glibness that made her success.
It was the Théâtre du Gymnase team that offered this local figure – she has lived in Aubagne (Bouches-du-Rhône) since the age of 7 – “to sow poetry” as part of the program outside the walls of the Aix-Marseille Theaters, with a code name: “Aller vers”. “The Covid crisis has damaged the desire for theater. You have to be inventive, be able to reach the public in another way and with other forms”, defends Dominique Bluzet, director of the Gymnasium, the Bernardines, the Tennis court and the Grand Théâtre de Provence. So he had the idea of soliciting Nicole Ferroni, because, he says, she is “funny, touching, poetic and it brings something essential: laughing at ourselves”. The order included specifications: mixing writings by authors linked to Marseilles and original texts, all composed in verse.
“The ‘constraint’ of poetry allowed me to branch off while maintaining the humor”
Nicole Ferroni seized this challenge wonderfully. Around five themes (Love with a capital M, Marseille re-belle, Clichés de Marseille, Meskine-peuchère and Marseillaises), she unearthed a few excerpts (from Joseph Autran, Marseille d’Altouvitis, etc.) and above all wrote earthy little stories in the Marseilles language, playing on the comic and the tragic. You have to listen to him talking about the “pachole” (female sex), defending the cagole, having a dialogue between panisse and pastis, commenting on the lyrics of the rap album 13’organized and seize, in his own way, the “great replacement”: “Instead of kékés, gagas and momos, they invade our territories with their big hooves, who is that? Bobos. With the bobo, the PMU becomes cozy, the Coke becomes a smoothie, the neon lights become candles and the crisps become goji berries. Everything they touch changes, I know that because I’m one of them. »
Successes and tragedies
Whether it’s an early Thursday morning at the Café de la Banque, a Saturday afternoon at the Café de la Manufactory or a Sunday at the Belly of the Architect, Nicole Ferroni’s verses have had a packed house. Seated, standing or seated on the floor, with friends or family, the spectators, invited free of charge, enjoyed the volubility of this artist and her ability to capture attention. Perched on a very small platform, as close as possible to the public, she draws her texts from a thick binder placed on a desk. Leaves in hand, the comedian leads “the people of the bistros” in short stories that run through the history of Marseille, from Gyptis and Protis to the IAM group via the Good Mother, and returns with accuracy to the successes (Zizou, football) and the dramas (the settling of accounts, the collapse of the buildings in the rue d’Aubagne, the attack on the Saint-Charles train station).
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