Mend the Living (“Réparer les vivants”), by Emmanuel Noblet

1 min

Mend the Living (“Réparer les vivants”), by Emmanuel Noblet

Alone on stage, Emmanuel Noblet delivers a virtuoso adaptation of Maylis de Kerangal’s novel, the story of a heart transplant that has moved readers around the world.

© Aglaé Bory

From performance to directing

Born in 1975, Emmanuel Noblet began by studying law before completing his education at the Rouen Conservatory and the National Dramatic Centre Academy in Limoges. On stage, he notably performed alongside François Morel in Catherine Hiegel’s The Middle Class Gentleman (“Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme”) (2012) and under the direction of Sophie Lecarpentier and Yann Dacosta. He also acted for the big screen in The Girl from Nowhere (“La Fille de nulle part”) (2012) by Jean-Claude Brisseau and Chic ! (2014) by Jérome Cornuau.


In 2015 Emmanuel Noblet directed Nicolas Rey and Mathieu Saïkaly in And Living was Sublime (“Et vivre était sublime”), which won the audience prize at Off Festival in Avignon.


A successful adaptation

What connects Simon, a 19-year-old surfer who dies in a car accident, and Claire, 50, who is gravely ill? The answer: the heart.


With just a few props, Emmanuel Noblet, alone on stage, brings the story of a heart transplant to life. 24 hours of a human adventure in which the actor plays almost all the roles, assisted only by the interruption of a few voice-overs and projections. In a breathless solo, he portrays, in turn, Revol, the resuscitation doctor who mentions the transplant to the Simon’s parents, Juliette, the young man's lover, and Virgilio, the seductive surgeon.


An actor’s desire

With Mend the Living, Emmanuel Noblet has adapted the eponymous Kerangal novel (2014), an award-winning literary hit, for the stage.


The play is the fruit of a literary sensation: "As soon as I read this novel, it was obvious that I had to bring this story to the stage and tell it alone", confides a man who "searched for a long time for a text that matched his actor’s perspective”. 


The story gave him such a strong, precise idea of the adaptation that he wanted to produce that it led Emmanuel Noblet to put himself on stage.



A universal story

Emmanuel Noblet's play created a splash at the 2015 Off Festival in Avignon. In 2017, it was honoured with the Molière Award for the best solo stage performance and the prix Beaumarchais for Best Show.


After a French tour with several hundred performances, the show toured many international venues. A success that led Emmanuel Noblet to ask the actor Thomas Germain, to take his place for certain tour dates. From Peru to Uruguay, from Chile to Russia by way of the Middle East, Mend the Living continues to transport audiences around the world.


Mend the Living (“Réparer les vivants”) ( teaser )
The Institut français and the project

Mend the Living (“Réparer les vivants”) toured Latin America, the Middle East and Russia in 2018 with the support of the Institut français.


The Institut français supports the circulation of contemporary French theatre around the world.