Saturday, March 17, 2012

Review: (Quebec City) Madame de Sade

(photo credit: Vincent Champoux)

Ecstasy, fantasy, eroticism, desires, fidelity, infidelity, one word: Turmoil 
A very unique adaptation of Yukio Mishima.

By Isabelle-Ann Charlebois
Madame de Sade at Le Trident, directed by Martine Beaulne, is a succulent and brilliant melting pot of womanly emotions, fantasy, desires and text, text, text.
Six magnificent female actors play out their individual relationships to the Marquis de Sade, as they gush their feelings and experiences. All of them at some point in their lives fell for his tenderness, sensuality and his pretty little face. This “minois” in fact, hides a grotesque creature.
...feared by other women and dreaded by all good housewives, though at the same time secretly envied...

In each of us - women - there is at some point in our lives those yearnings: to be loved, desired, enchanted, seduced, needed and to be free - but also, some more beastly drives devour our inner guts.  In this play,  the six actors give little winks at all those emotions.
The whore, Comtesse de Saint-Fond incarnated by Lise Castonguay, is without a doubt the most salty; feared by other women and dreaded by all good housewives, though at the same time secretly envied. She is a free spirit who represents fleshly desires, the freedom to dispose of one’s body as one sees fit. Castonguay's performance emanates sexual power and rigidity.
Anne-Prospère (Sophie Dion) is the younger sister of Renée, Marquise de Sade, and the one character who gives us a taste of freshness and careless liberty. Like a young girl (with a less rigid morality), she naïvely betrays her sister to get a little taste of the Marquis de Sade.  She brings to the play a breeze of licentious frivolity.
As Renée, Éva Daigle is superb. She incarnates faithfulness, almost to blindness.  She feels the need to protect her bawdy husband and be a good wife.  Renée always stood by her man, even though he was not around much, being imprisoned most of his life, or gone to assuage his fleshly, beastly and sado-masochistic thirsts with younger girls and boys.  Renée moves us to pity and frustration even as she simply perseveres.  She embodies all the steps in the life of a woman scorned: love, protection, the will to satisfy her lover, deception and finally, escape. Hidden lust is seen in la Baronne de Simiane (Marie-Hélène Lalande), a sort of stuck-up religious woman who, from time to time, falls into ecstasies about the Marquis de Sade.
The essence of the play - sexual translucency - is also reflected in Michel Gauthier’s sets. Translucent walls serve as a kind of camouflage to whore shows, thoughts and episodes of the Marquis de Sade’s debauchery.  The sliding walls also gloom the different eras.
Since it is a women’s season at Le Trident, I suppose I'll accept hearing them vomit their extremely long texts, but I would have appreciated hearing more of the Marquis de Sade’s “poetry” or writings. However, the acting alone is definitely worth the outing.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated. Please read our guidelines for posting comments.