Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region.   ,

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Photo. Julie Laurin

The grungy, gritty, hyper-realistic combat of a doomed couple in a seedy motel room in Vanier is a must see! Even if you can’t understand French, read the play (it’s not long) or get a short summary on line, and get a ticket. It means 70 minutes of sitting on a chair facing that huge bed where Yves Turbide (Eddy ) explodes in rage and jealousy, where Nathaly Charrette (May) buries her head in her body and releases her torment as she is pulled between her violent attraction for Eddy and her hate for the man who abandoned her. It all plays out under the strange gaze of the mysterious father (Paul Rainville) who watches them as he plucks on his guitar. He appears to know them but he remains invisible until the past is revealed and he appears to drift into Eddy’s vision of the world as the past tells us of the “other” family Eddie discovered when he was young. Even this near mythical father figure from the past learns about the death of one of his wives, and as the truth about his links to the transgressive relationship between May and Eddie comes to light, we understand their feelings of being trapped like animals in their own uncontrollable instincts for the rest of their lives. Sam Shepard takes us into a Wild West cowboy world that is fraught with all the complexities of contemporary human relations.

As well as the narrative, there is the performance. Sitting in that motel room, we the audience are right there in front of them, almost on the bed with them as they fight, as they melt into each other’s arms or fight and fall over the bed. Eddie tries to convince May he will never leave her but she knows better. An uncontrollable attraction possesses both of them but the fury is just as violent. Nathaly Charrette struggles with her body and with her conscience but she cannot leave even though the battle tears her apart. Nicolas Desfossés as the naïve young friend, who is drawn into the midst of this terribly deranged family, is almost paralysed by what he sees and his astounded reactions set him off from the rest of the family. He was very good. Yves Turbide as the excitable and cruel Eddie trying to maintain his power through his vicious animality is both exciting and terrifying. He makes you feel he is constantly on the brink of disaster and he takes pleasure in wanting to drag someone down with him. . A very seductive actor who fairly bristles with electric sexuality that is bathed in perspiration and washed over in whiskey… THE RIDEAU AWARDS (section française) would do well to nominate Yves Turbide for the best actor award next year!

Kevin Orr has orchestrated his team most beautifully, creating performances that showed how they all arrived at a coherent reading of the play as a tight knit group. He has created a solid team and they should continue producing more works…it would be a shame to stop. Michèle Magny’s translation (which leaves the title in English) respects the brittle, clipped tone of the original, especially through the Quebecois which is spit out, and dribbled about in those passionate voices that were all perfectly audible.

As well, the entire goings on in the parking lot just outside the room created beautiful off stage effects that they never could have managed in a theatre. Don’t miss this one…..

Fool for Love plays at the Motel Concorde, 333  Montreal Road

Dates:

28 avril à 15h et 19h’

29-30 avril et 1 mai à 19h.

Fool For Love by Sam Shepard

Directed by Kevin Orr

Cast:

Eddie Yves Turbide

May Nathaly Charrette

Le vieux Paul Rainville

Martin Nicolas Desfossés