WP's ANNY_D Anny D


Anny Place, Anny Where, Anny Time

Irgendwie, Irgendwo, Irgendwann

Queen Helen of Sparta
Anny Duperey: Helen of Troy

Evening in front of the TV unaware expecting an almost contemporary play about the French-German relationship - Aristide Briand und Gustav Stresemann, between both world wars - [War in Troy]. So the TV magazine told. Some kind of support for the history lessons at school. Well, there was written more, see the big image below, but who takes something like this a face value? But then - her!
And the dramatist Jean Giraudoux can't have known her at all!

Even others having been struck, cineasts, autograph hunters and theater goers around the world, also interviewers out of the writing and broadcasting scene.

And so me as well, although if I hadn't seen her in real, but just in the mentioned TV production of 1981 only.
It's clear, I have preserved her photo shown in the TV magazine through the years. Even if it had noticeably suffered from reproduction.

Eventually just one fine day in Paris...


Anny Place

Eleven o'clock and fifteen minutes p.m., Paris, 9th Arrondissement, Place Édouard VII VII/Rue Louis Jouvet. The theater goers have disappeared into the night. A few isolated small groups lose themselves in the square in front of the theater. The cool night air feels well after more than two hours in the oppressive warm theater. Five minutes ago the curtain fell to Sarah. With her in the title part. And with me in the third row.

Why do I stand here? The first time I ever saw her is almost ages ago. As Helen of Troy in a French screen staging of Tiger at the Gates (Jean Giraudoux: La Guerre de Troie n'aura pas lieu) on German TV. Too beautiful to be real - without any problem she would pass through all passport checkpoints as Greek goddess. When she strolls closer, alarmed one would stumble some steps backward if one didn't sit in a TV armchair. Upsetting likable, with a clear look out of shining blue eyes and a certain ironic-knowing sometimes even strange dreaming smile. After a few days I found a complete simple explanation: tall, slim, long legs, long hair, some kind of dangerous beauty, and then this touch of a toga - silky flowing, one shoulder, semi-transparent on bare skin. (And even yet she appears respectable anyhow ;-) No wonder - the Y-shaped chromosomes just danced - I probably had a crush on her. Nothing unusual at this age phase - Rod Steward's Maggie May effect?! »It's just a pity that obviously I'll never see her again. Well, let's forget it.«

About two years later I stumbled into a television review of the German release of Les Comperes (Engl. title ComDads). With an actress, whose movie son was of about my age, but »the one woman, who would be better for me not to meet ever. But she is really sparkling with charm. She even almost eclipses that marvelous French theater actress. This one has also these clear, bright blue eyes which she would really need a gun license for. And - wait a moment - just believe it or not, no doubt, it's her again! So she looks in reality!«
Half-hearted searches didn't lead further. What, however, should they have led to? Nevertheless, I saw her a few times on television then. Better than nothing.

Ten years later, a last midnight zapping brought me to From Hell to Victory. »Who is this?« I felt as if I had grasped with my wet fingers into the wall socket. No foam at the mouth, but I was trembling. »Nevertheless, that's her indeed. Do I freak out yet? Something is definitely wrong here!«
One and a half year later, after a day on a trade fair stranded at the Palais de Chaillot. My eyes curved over nocturnal Paris: Sacré Cœur, Eiffel Tower, the sky-rise building in Montparnasse. »Well, there she lives...«. Goose-flesh! »That will do now! I want to know what's going on. I want to turn that off. By all means!«

In the succeeding period I get through everything step by step. »In numbers there counts perhaps 25% appearance, 50% liking and 25% fascination. It must be, however, something concrete. Regularly something to grip.« Fascinating in Tiger at the Gates, massive alarming in The Demon of the Island, but the break-through came not before La Seconde (Engl. title The other woman). The subconscious started to report after one year during I thought about it from time to time (instead of playing on the smart phone during waiting; weren't just available yet ;-). »It is as if the instinct of self-preservation is activated. It comes from the outside: something with this woman is wrong, something horrible has occurred to her. Feeling tells it concerns something serious if not even death.« Just an abstruse suspicion, but right from the beginning there was such a strange hunch.

Anyway a decision was necessary, therefore I tried to take up contact with her agency and - I received an answer. Not of the agency, but some lines of her directly (»Woohoo!«). After some rapture and relief - »I even could ask her at least directly...«, and perhaps it wouldn't have taken much for and maybe I would have tried to ask her to a coffee (well, would then have been too much of a good thing!) - indeed, just almost by chance I stumbled over her autobiography Le voile noir as German edition. What a luck I had never made up my mind for questioning. That would have been a really painful fiasco!
Hard to avoid the impression that there is somebody transmitting on one's own frequency anyhow (possibly, however, with massive negative offset). Very strange.

Anny Where

Elicited from the Internet since a half year I know where, when and what she plays. Suddenly, three or four days ago I've made up my mind. If not now, when ever? Two days ago on the spur of the moment I arranged for a theater ticket and a hotel room.

Poster of the play »Sarah«
Sarah, Théâtre Édouard VII, 2003

Today is the day. This morning shortly after four o'clock I've risen completely awaken - five minutes before the alarm clock rang - in order to fly to Paris. (Don't ask for the price!) Since the late morning I'm strolling through the city. First of all I was at the theater to pick up the ticket and a poster. Nobody was bothered that I don't know French. Today I already visited seven arrondissements, maybe eight or nine. Absolutely unexpected I just strolled by her flat - the blindly selected sightseeing tour in the travel guide just passed her residence - nothing more. I am not a stalker, not in the least.

Now I'm sitting in a promising position here in the theater...

Slowly the curtain rises. Tense silence in the hall. Tall, slim, elegant, motionless, with the impression of a shop window puppet Sarah dozes on a chair. Perfect in each manner. Praxiteles would deeply enjoyed her sight. Under the veil of her hat one divines her face only. Nothing but her genteel hands are to discover. Pitou (Robert Hirsch) comes closer and carefully raises her veil, reveals her - visage. The whole theater holds its breath - ghostly silence for at least a minute. Really breathtaking despite her closed eyes and her black eyelid shade. After a while she opens her eyes... This shining blue, this clear look! A murmur sweeps through the theater. Repeatedly one hears a low »... bleu ...«. Although the French audience should really know what she is worth.

It is a mixture between tragedy and comedy. Both actors do not spare anything themselves and the audience: very fast, interlaced dialogues; she is impulsive almost a pain in the neck, with strong mood fluctuations. When she starts to argue, to rave, the audience will jerk. He is brilliant with comedy, parody almost slapstick interludes which remind of Louis de Funès, bringing the audience to roars of laughter. And both complement each other fancifully, open up continuously. Enthusiasm in the audience. Nevertheless, Sarah is charming. She becomes somehow pleasant more and more. One develops sympathy for her.

Curtain to the second act. She has exchanged her strict 1920-style costume with a long white night-dress and a red dressing gown, her hair (red wig), up to now high-put, open, down to her shoulders. A respectful, long lasting whisper sweeps through the theater. She is just marvelous! Supported by the liking of the audience, she rules the stage. Now she gets really cracking. Until Sarah breaks down over-strained... Dead?! A sigh, almost a quiet groan, in the theater. No, only exhaustion, pooh... Thus, nevertheless, there is a happy-end Sarah and Pitou dance cheerfully.

The audience is carried away. Several curtains. He receives the applause and the bravo shouts professionally. Her intensive look moves through row by row as if she would like to thank everyone individually. Really enjoyable.

Anny Time

Engrossed, washed outside with the audience flood standing in front of the theater.
Originally I have thought just to mingle with the autograph hunters inconspicuously just in order to see her from near. Her book and a pen are more camouflage. Because, to tell the truth, as autograph hunter I haven't the smallest experience. And I really haven't any hope, too. But I suppose I should regret it for ever if I didn't try it at least. »If only some would be present. It seems I'm wrong here in general. Well, it doesn't matter.«. The play and the memories out of a time just even more than twenty-years ago - just remember the TV magazine excerpt - want to be digested...

KTOTV.com Magazine June 29th 2003
KTO TV Magazine June 29th 2003
(The link is from 2003, too; appearance at ca. 37:10)

Quarter to twelve perhaps. Again a door swings open at the theater front like it happened several times before. Hidden behind columns, again fragments of a conversation, and then - her voice. I approach slowly. Suddenly, a couple of steps in front of me a tall slim silhouette, over all almost about 6 feet - her. She turns her back to me, however, I immediately recognize her by her physique and her kind of motion. Her interlocutor draws her attention to a group in the square. Supposedly theater folks. She turns towards them, and because I don't want to be impolite and in no way to be importunate, I let her walk unmolested and proceed to the edge of the square. Just unthinkable to block her way or even to tap on her shoulder.

The group is involved in an intensive conversation. She avoids to be the focus of attention, but listens carefully instead. A first class opportunity to watch her from a proper distance of some meters: tall, slim, magenta colored, tight, calf-long skirt, sweater of the same color and the almost compulsory thin yellow scarf around her shoulders. Suddenly I catch her eye. I nod my head to greet her, she looks at me astonished, hesitates, and then nods back and begins to smile. »Oops! Doesn't she even blink to me? Wow, she even waves to me! I'm dancing on the ceiling!« ...

A few minutes later she says good-bye to the group - and crossing the square she directly strolls to me! Gasping for breath I have to convince me not to stumble some steps backward - and then: »Bonjour Monsieur!« - »Bonjour, Madame! Excusez-moi, would you be so kind?« I present her autobiography to her for signing. Of course, she is so kind - and even naturally continues to speak English. What a voice and what a shining smile! I thought of remarks in interviews like »the room lit up in her gloss«, and so on, just as usual exaggerations. But she seems so uncomplicated, so surprisingly friendly, full of almost youthful charm. Really charming and bewitching. And even from the proximity (and with removed make-up) she looks extraordinary attractive. Even without the rose-colored fan eyeglasses, really marvelous, a dream woman.

Surprised she views at the book, leafs through it with interest and then looks at me asking. Of course, she knows the images, but the complete layout is obviously strange to her. I explain that it is the German edition. She hasn't seen it up to now and doesn't know of being published in Germany. She starts to look for a pen and I offer a felt-tip pen to her and just manage to get off the cap. Thanking she takes it. She searches for a free space to put the dedication and asks for my name.
I do not want to make her more trouble further on, because it is close up to midnight and she has just finished more than two hours of heavy work. In addition it would be almost ridiculous to stammer something like »You were fantastic!« or even »I am a great admirer of your art«, although I am obviously not able to speak and understand French. She will imagine her part anyway.
I try to assist her getting rid of the pen and thanks to the perfect timing - in the same moment she tries to grasp after the cap - our hands collide. She chuckles and watches me amused, when I need two attempts with my trembling fingers to put the cap onto the darned felt-tip pen. Yes, she imagines her part. An intensive look says more than thousand words.
During parting her smile shines on me and when she walks away she turns around for short and blinks to me again. »Au revoir!«


Extended tours through Paris - of course, due to sightseeing I didn't use the Metro often - provided much time for thoughts.
On the following day when my wounded feet were cared (by the way sticking plaster is sparadrap), but refused extended walks, I bought a second cheap theater ticket at the Kiosque Théâtre in the Place de la Madeleine. »When I'm still just here...«

Already her strolling up and her smile during the encounter massively reminded me of Helen of Troy now it turned completely strange. Long after the show suddenly lady's shoes energetically drubbed on the cobblestones and rapidly came closer. And then at once - exactly like Charlotte, the woman in red, from Pardon Mon Affaire - she appeared and glided by in a floaty, calf-length, bright red dress - heading to the underground garage! Disbelievingly and like spellbound I followed her with my eyes even when she wasn't to see any longer and her steps were fading away in the distance. No, not a time warp, everyone, however, needs his personal fairy.

And was it worth the trouble? Oh yes, it was. I suppose I already know what I'll do in the next season. Well, she is prepared, because she already knows this page here (and has even appreciated it, indeed).

To be continued

Poster of the play »Oscar et la dame rose«
Théâtre Montparnasse, 2007

Evening with the lady pretty in pink in golden October: Oscar et la dame rose at Théâtre Montparnasse. Already the night before I was there and joined the autograph hunters. With Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt, the author of the play, and other folks she left the theater. They intended to have a dinner. But she asked for some delay, went to the waiting and for each fan she found time to talk with (even in English). Obviously in no way she considered it as troublesomness. With a laugh she recognized Das Glück von einer Katze gefunden zu werden and with a shiny smile she placed her dedication in the book.

The following day showtime in real time: more than two hours she alone on the stage. Not dressed up, playing several roles with full effort, in a marvelous play. Magical. (Well, just even Exceptionnelles stands on the poster. ;-)
It didn't seem an additional encounter could happen this time - I presumed the end of the theater season should be celebrated subsequently. Nevertheless, a handful of die-hards gathered in front of the theater and after a while they started a discussion with some theater officials. Something was going on... Suddenly the group moved to the stage entry. Bravely I followed. In the artist wardrobe we were already expected! As very pretty lady in black, tulle skirt and pull-over with V neck-line, with a lot of silver accessories apologizing she grasped at a chair and started small talk with us. (I would have had more need for it ;-) A dream - in real.

Evident, time is running -

Objects in the rear view mirror seem to be closer than they are.

Soon she will just write books only.