(Quebec) Hosanna or the Scheherazade of the poor
Question of genres
To launch his directorship at the head of Trident, Olivier Arteau approached Maxime Robin so that the latter could produce a play by Michel Tremblay. We can only thank him for it, because the director offers a touching show which opens the 53 in a beautiful waye season of the institution.
Maxime Robin’s choice fell on the legendary piece Hosanna. However, he decided to take the effort a step further. To better contextualize the work written in the 1970s, he knitted together an unpublished text from the play and a recent novel, The poor man’s Scheherazadewhere Tremblay gives voice to his character, now an embittered 75-year-old man.
By meshing these two works together, the director succeeds in weaving very relevant parallels between the search for gender identity more than 40 years ago and that of today.
Because despite the passage of years and the appearance of non-gendered pronouns, the quest for oneself and the expression of one’s identity remain complex questions.
To this brilliantly orchestrated collage of texts was added another luminous flash: cutting the score of Hosanna (née Claude Lemieux) into three. The character appears as a 10-year-old child, a 25-year-old being dizzy under the neon lights of the Hand and a 75-year-old man opening up to a magazine journalist Runaways (Carla Mezquita Honhon).
Luc Provost, best known for his personification of Mado Lamotte, takes on the role of septuagenarian Hosanna. The actor who studied theater at UQAM has put aside his wigs and glitter to appear in all his vulnerability, in all his fragility. Luc Provost thus succeeds in making us forget the extravagances of his alter ego to show us the human soul hidden for 25 years under the rhinestones.
Vincent Roy carries on his shoulders the most difficult score of the show, that of Hosanna wounded and fallen after a disastrous party of Halloween where his illusions were shattered. The performer manages to convey to us the dismay of his character, who has lost his way in a tragic role play: that of the “little guy from Saint-Eustache” dressed as a woman, disguised as Elizabeth Taylor, disguised as Cleopatra…
Around Hosanna revolves a crowd of colorful and endearing characters: the Duchess of Langeais (Jacques Leblanc, brilliant), the infamous Sandra (delicious Jonathan Gagnon), the “bécyk guy” often at a loss for words Cuirette (Gabriel Fournier, very just). The actress and singer Valérie Laroche completes this cast brilliantly: she alone provides the musical backstory of the show, slipping – sometimes at the same time – into the costume of Elvis or Diane Dufresne.
As for the role of Hosanna as a child, it is played alternately by Josef Asselin and Philomène Robitaille. This character will only open his mouth once, but in doing so, he will offer spectators an unforgettable moment of emotion.
With its staging full of beautiful discoveries (especially in the sets), its flamboyant costumes and its right mix of humor and drama, Hosanna or the Scheherazade of the poor hits the mark. A great success which, we hope, will find a way to Montreal.
Hosanna or the Scheherazade of the poor
Based on texts by Michel Tremblay, directed by Maxime Robin, with Luc Provost, Vincent Roy and six other performers
Trident TheaterUntil October 7
For the rest of the world
A delightful inventiveness
At the Théâtre La Bordée, another great classic of theatrical culture is magnified on stage: it is the film For the rest of the worldthis masterpiece of direct cinema signed by Pierre Perrault, Michel Brault and Marcel Carrière.
The La Trâlée theater troupe specializes in object theater and has already adapted monuments from the 7e art, including Citizen Kane. However, for the first time in its history, it has access to a large stage to display all its inventiveness.
And there is plenty of inventiveness in this delightful show: shadow play, object theater, short extracts from the film and close-ups are used here to tell the story of the inhabitants of L’Isle-aux -Coudres who, in 1962, resurrected traditional porpoise fishing for the ONF team.
Under the direction of director Lorraine Côté, the seven performers embody Grand Louis, Abel, Alexis and all the others who made this film a monument of Quebec cinematography. For these islanders, chouenner (discuss) is the national sport: they do it with a poetic and sappy language, perfectly mastered by the actors.
However, the play is not just a stage transposition of the film. It is first of all – and it seems above all – a piece about the film, where the characters of Pierre Perrault and his acolytes often speak to explain their approach.
Certain passages of the play therefore take on a didactic tone which could annoy the spectators, but which is delivered with great vivacity. Those who have seen the film and are familiar with the work of these three pioneers will learn little, but others (especially those who have never seen the film) will leave the theater more knowledgeable. With the desire to add For the rest of the world (first Canadian film presented at Cannes in official competition) to their personal filmography.
We cannot ignore the direction by Lorraine Côté (who also signed the adaptation). In the hands of the performers, a lantern or a peg comes to life to embody one or the other of the islanders, grains of black sand are transformed into the Saint-Laurent river, a collection basket becomes the head of the priest… Very ingenious and very entertaining winks.
Lorraine Côté also chose to add more current segments filmed on Isle-aux-Coudres. Like Perrault, Brault and Carrière, the La Trâlée team asked the young people of the island to resurrect an almost forgotten tradition, that of Mi-Carême.
Because the rest of the world will be carried by these young people who must not forget their roots to extend their branches. This show with its overflowing creativity reminds us brilliantly, particularly in a very touching final scene.
For the rest of the world
Adapted and directed by Lorraine Côté, with seven performers
La Bordée TheaterUntil October 14