Thursday, March 1, 2012

Review: (Toronto) La Liste

(photo credit: Suzanne O'Neill)

Sylvie Drapeau is on the list
One of the country's greatest actors in Toronto
by Adèle Charlebois
Jennifer Tremblay's La Liste begins with a woman alone in her house, seated somewhat uncomfortably on a simple wooden chair, visibly perturbed by the obsessive internal repetition of a list of chores that sound banal, but come to take on an importance of the highest imperative. This list is echoed to us, words crushed over words, mixed with sounds of suffocated breathing over a recording that sets the stage for the story and performance to come. 
Sylvie Drapeau is brilliant as a woman living in the country with three small children, suffocated by her own domestic perfectionism and disdain for the village she finds herself in. It also becomes painfully clear from the get-go that she is consumed by guilt over the sudden death of her neighbour Caroline. In this one-woman show, Drapeau tells us her story and the story of Caroline's tragic death through a beautifully controlled, physical and incredibly moving performance that is at times darkly funny. Her stellar portrayal is supported by seamless stage direction, by Marie-Thérèse Fortin, that totally immerses us in this woman's tormented world. A must-see.

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