Pauline Peyrade, a prose fight against violence against women brought to the stage


In what she writes, there is forest and night, silence, childish terrors that return to invite themselves into our adult lives. Pauline Peyrade is 37 years old, she is a playwright, just recently a novelist, and she is one of the writers we are talking about, at the end of winter. His last piece, swimming women, is to be seen at the Gérard-Philipe Theater in Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis), until March 19, before continuing its tour. Her first novel, The Age of Destroy (editions de Minuit, 160 p., €16), traces its path, carried by its striking power and a flattering word of mouth.

As far back as she can remember, Pauline Peyrade has always wanted to write: “From the age of 4 or 5, I took sheets of paper that I folded in half, as if to make books, with little stories written inside.she says, amused. Since early childhood I have had a fascination with writing and writers. » She studied brilliantly, but the theater came late, when she was in khâgne at the Lycée Henri-IV in Paris. “It happened through the discovery of Jean Genet and his plays The good ones And The balcony, does she remember. This reading was overwhelming for me, of capital importance: both for Genet’s evocative power, for his work on the relationship of domination, but also for all his thought on a form of metatheatre, on the way whose writing thinks itself while writing. »

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Genet’s tutelary figure never left her throughout her career, which continued at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, where she made other important discoveries, foremost among them Sarah Kane and Edward Jump. Pauline Peyrade then joined the National School of Theater Arts and Techniques (Ensatt) in Lyon, in the same dramaturgy section where, today, she accompanies young aspirants to theatrical writing. It is therefore armed with a solid theoretical and intellectual background that she began to write her texts, which very quickly were noticed, in particular by the director Cyril Teste.

“Taking Up Arms”

Pauline Peyrade stands out in the landscape, where flat sociological writing without mystery has multiplied like hotcakes in recent years, a little too easy to manufacture and sell to programmers. From the outset, what she proposed, with texts like Imperial woods, Fists Or With the rifle (all published by Les Solitaires intempestifs in 2016, 2017 and 2020), it was something else entirely: real formal devices, kinds of intimate investigations exploring with as much sensitivity as mastery the interiority of women facing different forms of violence. Because she knew from the start that this was what she was going to write: stories of violence, and of that which is exercised in a specific way, “systemic”she says, about women and about little girls.

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