L-R: Félix Beaulieu-Duchesneau, Justin Laramée, Philippe Racine. Photo: Jacques Cabana
What is Freedom?
La Fugue grapples a difficult subject with skill and finesse
by Stuart Munro
The characters and performances are compelling, and the threats they face come across as frighteningly real.
Told without any dialogue, La Fugue is the story of Johan, a young runaway who finds that living on the streets is not the freedom from a strict home structure that he was hoping for. The term “la fugue” is, in fact, a play on words – in French, fugue means both “runaway” and the complex musical form English speakers would associate with the word (Johan’s name is, no doubt, an homage to J.S. Bach, the man who took the fugue form to its highest level). As Johan runs away, he gets caught in an endless cycle of homelessness, violence, and drugs that seemingly has no end. Through the use of clever puppets – no more than a few hoodies with blacked out faces – and original contemporary music, La Fugue manages to convey the hope, despair, and loss of Johan and his companion, Noémi, as they struggle for the freedom they so desperately crave. The characters and performances are compelling, and the threats they face come across as frighteningly real.