Kessel, the chameleon adventurer

Franck Desmedt. Alizée de Vanssay

CRITICAL – A show written with a brilliant pen and staged with mastery.

Huge white sails allow Franck Desmedt to embark for Africa or Afghanistan, to pray with a loved one or to dress like an Arab sheikh. As Joseph Kessel. This son of a Jewish doctor of Lithuanian origin and a mother who was also Jewish and settled in Russia had a life worthy of an adventure novel.

Aviator, journalist, major reporter, war correspondent, resistance fighter – we owe him The Song of the Partisans – and writer, he couldn’t sit still. For a time, he was even tempted by the theater. Lit by Laurent Béal, transcended by this multifaceted role, Franck Desmedt lends him his boundless energy, covering the stage from start to finish. The actor literally wets his shirt.

Read alsoJoseph Kessel and Germaine Sablon: heroes of love and the Resistance

Chameleon, he is as much Raïssa, the mother of the travel writer, as Pierre Lazareff, the boss of Paris-Soir, for which he covered the Spanish Civil War, or Humphrey Bogart (“Have you seen Casablanca?”). Elsewhere fascinates him,…

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