France's first couple inspires play in Spain

MADRID, Pierre Ausseill - French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, former model Carla Bruni, are the inspiration behind a play about the pangs of love in the corridors of power underway at a major Spanish theatre.
"Scandal in the Palace", which opened Wednesday, revolves around Bernard Mathieu, the president of an unnamed country, and his young wife Paola d'Angio who, like Bruni, is also of Italian origin.

France's first couple inspires play in Spain
But while play is fiction, any resemblance between the two protagonists of this comedy playing at Madrid's Reina Victoria theatre, which seats 600 people, with Sarkozy and Bruni is not coincidental.
Pedro Ruiz, the play's author, director and main actor, does not hide that he was inspired by France's first couple but said the characters are "close archetypes, a radiography of everyone rather than the portrait of anyone."
"The play is about two human beings trapped in their position, in their ambitions and the enormous media pressure they face," he said.
In the play the couple waits nervously for a television newscast that will broadcast images captured by security camaras of President Mathieu making love to d'Angio in the toilets of an official palace while still married to his ex-wife.
The president, who is in his fifties, announces he will resign because of the scandal.
"I am no longer the president, I am the president who kisses in the toilet," he says. His wife however refuses to even consider the possibility.
The dialogue is lively and sometimes raw.
"Honey, would you have noticed if I had been an early retiree from a department store?" the president asks his wife at one point.
His wife replies: "And you, what you would have noticed if I did not have that ass and legs?".
Sarkozy will attend each session of the play -- or at least an effigy of the French president from Madrid's wax museum will.
It is positioned in the balcony of the theatre along with wax sculptures of Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, US President Barack Obama and Camilla Parker Bowles, the wife of Britain's Prince Charles.
Sarkozy divorced his second wife Cecilia in October 2007, five months after he took France's highest office.
He married Bruni, a supermodel-turned-singer, at a small ceremony at the Elysee Palace, the president's official residence, in February 2008.
Sarkozy is the first French president to divorce while in office and the first in over seven decades to marry while in office.

Monday, September 14th 2009
Pierre Ausseill

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