“La fureur de ce que je pense” is a dazzling excursion into the work of Nelly Arcan.

Reviewed by Capital Critics Circle

photos from the productionbased on the work of writer Nelly Arcan with

LA FUREUR DE CE QUE JE PENSE. Coming to the NAC French Theatre
May 24–27 at 7:30 p.m., NAC Theatre
“I’m looking forward to the pleasure of seeing La fureur de ce que je pense, the joint creation by Marie Brassard and Sophie Cadieux inspired by the life and work of Nelly Arcan …. Her outspoken views (about the body, female identity, death) will be delivered by seven performers, in seven chants that will doubtless resonate like so many heartfelt laments.” – Valérie Lessard, Le Droit (Transl.)

May 11, 2017 – OTTAWA – La fureur de ce que je pense is a dazzling excursion into the work of Nelly Arcan. From Arcan’s writings, with their recurring themes of suffering, the cosmos, death and female identity, director Marie Brassard has extracted seven spellbinding monologues, one for each of the work’s key motifs. With a cast of six outstanding actresses and one talented dancer, she has orchestrated a sophisticated, powerfully physical show, a compelling blend of sensuality and brutality.
Montreal writer Nelly Arcan, age 36, hanged herself in her apartment in the Plateau Mont-Royal district. Too often dismissed by the media as just another beautiful blonde, Nelly Arcan is now rightly recognized as an important figure in contemporary literature, a writer whose exceptionally rhythmic prose gives expression to a volatile and mystical imagination. Thus ended her troubled life marked by a fierce passion for social sciences and books, a sordid stint as a professional escort, and the sensational publication of her fictionalized autobiography Putain (Whore) and her novel Folle (Hysteric). Winner of numerous prestigious prizes, she was thrust too soon into the blinding glare of the spotlight, and her writing reveals the multiple facets of a conflicted and kaleidoscopic identity troubled by gender confusion and concerned about society’s image of the female body, but also dazzled by hope.
From a short but dense body of work that traces an inexorable path to the author’s self-sacrifice, Marie Brassard has extracted seven spellbinding monologues. With its seven adjoining spaces that seem both to imprison and to protect the performers, Antonin Sorel’s imposing yet sophisticated stage design gives tangible form to the contradictory voices inhabiting Arcan’s shattered psyche. This unforgettable show, a critical hit during its original run at Espace Go in 2013, comes to the NAC at last.

“A little like Albertine in Five Times, this Nelly in seven voices, seven costumes, seven cubicles, seven faces, lets loose a single, reverberating howl. » – Odile Tremblay, Le Devoir (Transl.)

A dramatic collage based on the writings of Nelly Arcan // Adapted and directed by Marie Brassard // Concept and development by Sophie Cadieux // Adaptation consultant and dramaturg: Daniel Canty // Set design and props: Antonin Sorel // Props assistant: Alex Hercule Desjardins // Lighting: Mikko Hynninen // Music: Alexander MacSween // Sound: Frédéric Auger // Costumes: Catherine Chagnon // Costume assistant: Éric Poirier // Makeup: Jacques‑Lee Pelletier // Hair: Patrick G. Nadeau // Production director: Anne McDougall // Technical director: Mateo Thebaudeau // Technical director, set: Jean‑François Landry // Sound directors: Frédéric Auger and David Blouin //
With Christine Beaulieu, Sophie Cadieux, Evelyne de la Chenelière, Larissa Corriveau, Johanne Haberlin, Julie Le Breton and Anne Thériault.

Produced by Infrarouge // Coproduced by NAC French Theatre, Festival TransAmériques and PARCO (Tokyo)

Running time: 1 hour and 40 minutes with no intermission.


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