1997, 1998, 2000

1997 - Baudelaire in Paradise

Emmanuel Genvrin

First performed on November 4th 1997 - Herel Hall, Granville (Manche, France). Written and directed by : Emmanuel Genvrin Music : Jean-Luc Trulès and Christian Belhomme Set : Hervé Mazelin - Costumes : Sophie Hoareau

"I’d visited the Mauritian house where the poet had lodged. I’d spoken with his host’s descendants, a French-Mauritian attorney and his son. I’d reread "Les Fleurs du mal" in the rattling buses of the former ’Ile de France’. I’d gathered legends about the poet’s 1841 trip, especially concerning Jeanne Duval, his Creole mistress. The Mauritian leader, Gaétan Duval, said that he was his descendant. On Reunion Island a restaurant owner was saying the same thing. For this reason I wanted to hold at the same time as my play - which gave imagination and myth their due - a literary meeting between several Baudelaire specialists : Jean-Louis Avice, author of the excellent "Paris-Baudelaire", who knew "Les Fleurs du mal" by heart; Melvin Zimmerman, an aesthete from New York living in Toronto; Fabienne Pasquet, originally from Haïti, author of "L’ombre de Baudelaire". For the production itself we joined forces with the Presqu’île Theatre at Granville directed by Michel Vivier. It was the first time we’d performed our first night outside of Reunion island.» [E. Genvrin]

The play

A 20-year-old poet, wealthy and free, Charles Baudelaire-Dufays, lands on one of the Mascarene Islands and disrupts the colony by having an affair with a woman of colour. Future Jeanne Duval ?


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lire le programme

Vidéo Baudelaire au Paradis nov 1997 Grand Quevilly - durée 7 mn

what the press think

"My only distraction, my only pleasure, my only friend. The Reunionese of Vollard Theatre wanted to commemorate the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery, by rehabilitating the poet’s black mistress : Jeanne Duval. The poet’s companion for nineteen years, through thick and thin, she was confronted by racism her whole life, and was rejected by her in-laws.»
Patrick Sourd [Nova-Mag]

"The trip that the young Charles Baudelaire was forced to make in 1841, was supposed to have been some sort of purgatory in order to bring him back to the reason of established order and conventions. He discovered in the Mascarene Islands a paradise of sensuality and the infernal colonial society.»
Danielle Dumas |L’Avant-Scène Théâtre]

"Vollard theatre has drawn a credible portrait of a young white-masked aristocrat, tormented witness to tropical violence. »
Jean-Louis Perrier [Le Monde]

"Thierry Mettetal creates an astonishing Baudelaire, a mix between a distinguished dandy, a Japanese dancer and the white-faced mime Marceau, highly-strung, governed by his penchants for sensuality. »
Danielle Dumas |L’Avant-Scène Théâtre.]

press articles

PDF - 960.6 kb
Le Monde (JL.Perrier), avril 1998, Baudelaire au Paradis
PDF - 837.9 kb
Journal du théâtre (D.Darzacq), mai 98
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Week-End (Sh. Patel) Maurice, mai 1998
PDF - 839.6 kb
L’Avant scène Théâtre (D.Dumas), juillet 1998 Beaudelaire au Paradis


First performed at the Presqu’ile Theatre on November 4th 1997 then performed at Granville, Saint-maurice, Grand Quevilly, performed again at Jeumon in April and May 1998, at the Tilf at La Villette, at the Trianon theatre, Vanves theatre, at Thury Harcourt, Carentan, Saint-Hilaire du Harcouet, Aunay-sur-Odon, Caen Cormelles, Bayeux in 1998. Performed again at Laval in April 2000. 52 performances, 13000 total audience.


  • Baudelaire-Dufays : Thierry Mettetal
  • Jeanne : Délixia Perrine
  • Autard de Bragard : Michel Vivier
  • Emmeline : Rachel Pothin
  • Dorothée : Cécile Blaizot
  • Figaro : Jean-Luc Trulès
  • Brutus : Arnaud Dormeuil
  • Saliz : Gilbert Décosse, Pierre-Louis Rivière,,Emmanuel Genvrin, Thierry Bertile, Régis Pejus
  • Jobar : Jean-Marc Dupré, Emmanuel Genvrin
  • And Jean Amémoutou, Frédérique Druaux, Richemond Gilas,, Nicole Leichnig,, Hervé Mazelin,, Nicole Payet.



  • Frédéric Saussaye, Frédéric Druaux, Anne Chauvet, Patricia Pommies, Virginie Vilarval, Caroline Vivier, Hervé Mazelin.


  • Nadia Boisivon, Sophie Hoareau, Scholastique Dormeuil.
©Théâtre Vollard 1980-2007 | Mentions légales