En juin dernier, au Centre des Arts d’Ottawa, Marie Brassard a monté un spectacle à partir des textes de Nelly Arcan, une jeune écrivaine qui s’est suicidée à trente-six ans, à Montréal: La Fureur de ce que je pense d’après son roman(voir l’article de Jane Baldwin http://capitalcriticscircle.com/?s=Nelly+Arcan), premier jalon théâtral de la création auto-fictionnelle cette année, puisque l’école de théâtre de l’Université d’Ottawa poursuit une expérience semblable. (Continue reading » )
Seeing La fureur de ce que je pense was my first experience of Nelly Arcan’s writing, far less known in the English-speaking world than in the French where her work has been nominated for several prestigious awards. Before attaining fame as an author, she worked as a sex escort. At 36 years of age, she hanged herself in her Montreal apartment.
La fureur de ce que je pense, presented in Ottawa, as part of the French language programme of the NAC, was assembled by the director Marie Brassard from Arcan’s works, which although they are largely autobiographical, are representative of the anxieties and stress of many women. This may be the reason that the single character is enacted by six different actresses. Before the show begins, the audience sees what appear to be two levels of mirrors stretching across the stage with blinding lights above them. The effect is that the audience members view themselves reflected, thus making them part of the world of the play. The lights go down slowly. Voices are heard speaking in unison as in a Greek tragedy. There are six extraordinary actresses, all of whom play the same character, but every one of them recounts incidents or aspects of the character’s life through a series of monologues. In addition, there is a small graceful dancer who does not seem to be part of the same world. Does she symbolize Arcan as an innocent child? She enters and leaves the stage seemingly at will. (Continue reading » )
NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, Ont. — The Shaw Festival may well be giving us the most glorious experience of a Canadian theatrical summer.
It’s subjecting its audiences to nearly four hours of riveting theatre with The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide To Capitalism And Socialism With A Key To The Scriptures. And yes, the very title of Tony Kushner’s play is a mouthful in itself, with its references to both a celebrated piece of polemic by festival namesake Bernard Shaw and the beliefs of Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy.
However, as anyone who has already experienced marathon encounters with the much longer Angels in America knows, Tony Kushner has a remarkable capacity for keeping an audience involved, both emotionally and intellectually, in what’s happening on stage. (Continue reading » )