Kelly Rivière did not know her grandfather, Peter O’Farrel. But it helped him attract some handsome boys after they left adolescence. An Irish grandfather who disappeared without warning leaves you with a granddaughter who describes him as an explorer or an IRA figure. So begins An Irish Story. In a joking tone, the story of a ghost told by a Franco-Irish woman with a porcelain complexion and light eyes. Soon, the ghost haunts her. Kelly Rivière, who goes by the name Ruisseau in her show, abandons her dreams as a dancer, embraces the profession of actress and becomes a mother. The quest for origins is essential, vital even obsessive.

At La Scala in Paris, twirling in front of a wire where a few photos hang, Kelly Rivière takes the spectators on her family journey. A journey that she focuses on on her mother’s side, summoning Irish immigrants who passed through London before landing in France. We travel from a Parisian apartment to a pub in Green Erin via the London library thanks to the bilingual actress who jumps from French to English, borrowing their thousand nuances of accents with exceptional vivacity.

A man disappearing, leaving his wife and children, that could be devastating. It’s the opposite with this red tornado who tells her story by introducing characters as picturesque as they are funny: Kathleen, her mother, an unworthy grandmother fascinated by the biographies of a dictator who married a Frenchman from the South (what a treat the presentation is from the Englishwoman to the family), her brother, a cannabis smoker, occasional babysitter for her nephew, who ends up accompanying his “ Sis” to London (anthology scene at the police station), Margareth, the Irish grandmother , a terrible old lady who doesn’t want to hear anything, the aunts who remained in Ireland who will unravel (a little) the enigma, up to this jaded detective summoned to the rescue and a dozen other extras.

The actress maintains the tension around the O’Farrel mystery for an hour and twenty minutes. His grandfather is incarnated but remains elusive. With this burlesque autofiction, Kelly Rivière eyes the farce, and does not hesitate to push the envelope in incredible sequences. But she always lands on her feet thanks to a colorful text where emotion comes to the surface. He is the key to this successful one-on-one (created in Avignon, it has been touring for five years) which thrills the spectators, touched because, in his personal history, Kelly Rivière never puts on a navel-gazing show. Irish ballads sometimes sound out, arriving at the right time to tell the story of the Irish soul.

An Irish Story, at La Scala (Paris 10th), until June 19.