For Noelle Perna laughing is a serious matter
The Monaco Press Club organized an encounter with the French comedian Noëlle Perna, better known for her character Mado, who is participating in the 11th edition of Les Serenissimes de l’Humour at the Grimaldi Forum this week from March 23-26, 2016. Over 4 days, a cast of artists, humorists and actors gathers in the Principality to have a laugh, organized in partnership with the radio program Rire & Chansons and supporting the association Amade Monaco.
When Noëlle Perna enters the room everybody smiles, such is the aura of this successful comedian whose business is to make us laugh! In this trying times there is nothing better than a bit of good humour to heal our souls.
The comedian talked about her profound attachment to Nice and its habitants, with whom she has a highly emotional connection and who have expressed their love for her time and time again. That is why she confesses she has butterflies in her stomach when performing in her natal town, more than in any other prestigious theatres anywhere in France. But not everything is performing on stage as she works throughout the year writing and editing her sketches, while on tour around the country, because to her laughing is a serious matter.
Watch the sketch Mado & the ski vacations
From behind the counter to the national stage
Noëlle Perna spent her adolescence in the Hermitage, not the fancy hotel in Monaco but a Bar in the old part of Nice managed by her parents. Through the years she got infused by the popular ambiance of this neighborhood bar. At 21 years old it fell upon her to handle the pub on her own, getting in closer contact with business people, card players, neighbours and friends of her age. It is then that behind the counter became her stage, portraying characters of her on invention, amusing the customers of the pub.
One of those frequent clients was Mado, her colorful neighbor and loyal client, who came every day to take her aperitif and became her source of inspiration. It is thanks to this personage of Nice culture that Radio France Cote d’Azur proposed her to create a radio series that she will run for two years in a row. The radio program evolved into the comedian’s first show Le Bar des Oiseaux (The Bar of the Birds) that would play during ten consecutive years on the theaters of the southern region of France. In 1999, she opened her small theater Le Theatre des Oiseaux (Theater of the Birds) adjacent to the Bar that grew in notoriety in Nice. At the same time she managed the pub she performed on the stage, then went regionally and finished by conquering the nation.
Her fame increased over time in the South where shows were sold out, and it was at the Actor Performance Festival in Cannes in 2002 that Jean-Michel Boris, former Director of L’Olympia, discovered her and encouraged her to try her luck in Paris, where she would be for three years since 2003 under the name Mado la Nicoise, with such a success that she performed on the stage of the Palais des Glaces, the Renaissance Theatre, Bobino, La Cigale and L’Olympia, and then went on a tour of France. In 2007 Perna created Mado fait son show (Mado makes her show), with imitations and costumes, performed in front of over 500,000 spectators throught France. Then she came up with Mado prend Racine (Mado takes root), followed by Super Mado touring in France and in February 2016 at l’Alhambra.
Noelle Perna considers herself a Buddhism advocate, and according to her the real revolution does not have to be political or economic but done a the level of human engagement.
“Men are like fishes, it is their tail that makes them change direction.” Noelle Perna