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Audiobooks read out loud by actors and actresses from La Comédie Française

Updated: Mar 18, 2021

As we celebrate World Theatre Day, let's explore audiobooks by French authors, read out loud by actors and actresses from La Comédie Française: Dominique Blanc, Christian Gonon, Sylvia Bergé, Coraly Zahonero, Adeline d'Hermy and Stéphane Varupenne.

Trois femmes puissantes by Marie NDiaye | voice by Dominique Blanc

The story of three women who say no: Norah, a French-born lawyer who finds herself in Senegal, summoned by her estranged father to save another victim of his paternity; Fanta, who leaves a contented life as a teacher in Dakar to follow her boyfriend back to France, where his depression and dislocation poison everything; and Khady, a penniless widow put out by her husband’s family with nothing but the name of a distant cousin in France. As these three lives intertwine, each woman manages an astonishing feat of self-preservation against those who have made themselves the fastest-growing and most-reviled people in Europe. In Marie NDiaye’s stunning narration we see the progress by which ordinary women discover unimagined reserves of strength.

Listen on Culturethèque

(novel also available in English via Penguin Random House)

Souvenirs dormants by Patrick Modiano | voice by Christian Gonon

The novel revisits moments of the author’s past to produce a spare yet moving reflection on the destructive underside of love, the dreams and follies of youth, the vagaries of memory, and the melancholy of loss. Writing from the perspective of an older man, the narrator relives a key period in his life through his relationships with several enigmatic women - Geneviève, Martine, Madeleine, a certain Madame Huberson - in the process unearthing his troubled relationship with his parents, his unorthodox childhood, and the unsettled years of his youth that helped form the celebrated writer he would become. This is classic Modiano, utilising his signature mix of autobiography and invention to create an intriguing and intimate book.

Listen on Culturethèque

Le train d'Erligen by Boualem Sansal | voice by Sylvia Bergé and Coraly Zahonero

Ute Von Ebert, the last heir to a powerful industrial empire, lives in Erlingen, a wealthy stronghold of the German upper middle class. His twenty-six-year-old daughter Hannah lives in London. In letters with a very free and often sarcastic tone, Ute tells her about life in Erlingen besieged by an enemy of which almost nothing is known and which she calls "the Servant". The population is feverishly awaiting a train to evacuate the enemy but the train is not coming... What if this story was the fruit of a whimsical and restless mind, watching the ravages of the spread of sectarian faith in tired democracies? As in '2084', Boualem Sansal describes the stranglehold of religious extremism over fragile areas of our societies, fostered by the cowardice or blindness of the rulers.

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Piège pour Cendrillon by Sébastien Japrisot | voice by Adeline d'Hermy

Once upon a time there were two young ladies, one rich, the other poor... Do and Mi, they were called. However, a big fire occurred in a beautiful house in the Var. And then... only one of the two girls survived. Burned hands devoid of fingerprints, a face reconstructed by cosmetic surgery, the girl resuscitated but with no memory left. Is she rich, is she poor, is she Mi, is she Do, the lovely amnesiac who desperately searches for a past? A true classic, Japrisot's novel is almost 50 years old, and it smells of a sweet sixties scent which only adds to its charm.

Listen on Culturethèque

Des nœuds d'acier by Sandrine Collette | voice by Guilaine Londez and Stéphane Varupenne

Théo Béranger is released from prison. Nineteen months of violent and bitter human intercourse, which he spent focused on one goal: his release.

His wandering takes him to the depths of France, in a semi-mountainous region covered with a dense black forest.

There, kidnapped by two demented brothers, he goes back to hell. Sandrine Collette's thriller is an implacable "behind closed doors story", where the tension becomes unbearable.

Listen on Culturethèque


To stay up to date with contemporary playwrights and their plays, Tous en scène by Aurélie Charon, A voix nue and Fictions / Théâtre et Cie on France Culture share the latest news.

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