Photo: Caroline Laberge
Anne-Élisabeth Bossé in “Consent”
Duceppe, in the Holiday season, the tradition wants that one program is a comedy, a play of light, comical, which is based on clutter and confusion, the springs of comedy, which is simply to say that they have served many. This year, not without courage, the new co-leader of the house have rather chosen a text addressing some of the issues of intimate and collective, psychological and legal sexual assault : Consent.
The part of Nina Raine’s fourth-largest, created in London in 2017, here brilliantly translated by Fanny Britt, is directed by Frédéric Blanchette, who was already ported to the defense of the Tribes, the second effort of the author british, and the Unicorn in 2014. The happiness of finding the language relentless playwright, dialogue is often funny, sometimes serious, always stinging, added to reconnect with the management exquisite of the director, this clarity, this sobriety, this boundless trust to the performer and his art.
First, one could think of another of these pieces on the vagaries of married life in the West in the Twenty-first century. The wealthy, almost all lawyers, the characters — played by actresses and actors extraordinaire struggle with parenthood, fidelity, and reconciliation of work and family. While Kitty and Edward (Anne-Élisabeth Bossé and David Savard) are parents since little, their best friends, Rachel and Jake (Véronique Side and Patrice Robitaille), have, for better and for worse, a few years in advance.
At the time when Edward, a defence lawyer, welcomes home his colleague Tim (Mani Soleymanlou), Crown attorney, to present it to a friend of his wife, Zara (Cynthia Wu-Maheux), the piece takes a sharp turn for the worse. See the two men, who face the day in a case of sexual assault, jesting in the evening by lifting the elbow and smoking a few joints arouses a discontent that will not cease to grow.
To address such notions as consent, marital rape, or even empathy, the author interweaves the battle of Gayle (Mary Bernier), the victim, and the setbacks in love a strand vaudeville lawyers who are committed to the cause. The piece is not a plea, it does not take advantage neither for nor against anyone, but it describes the situation so beautifully complex. It puts on trial first individuals, their behaviors, and their pitches, and then the justice system, its flaws, or at least of its incongruities. Which cleverly echo the movement #MeToo and its aftermath — we let you the pleasure to discover how, the show asks a lot of crucial questions. Hope this is the beginning of a new tradition.
Text : Nina Raine. Translation : Fanny Britt. Directed by : Frédéric Blanchette. The théâtre Jean-Duceppe, until 2 February.