Thursday, May 9, 2013

Review: (Quebec City) Les Enrobantes - cabaret décolleté pour psychanalyste plongeant

(l-r) Valérie Laroche - Lola (photo by: Vincent Champoux)

Sex, Drugs...and a lack of Rock 'n' Roll
by Isabelle-Ann Charlebois

Let’s talk about sex, and watch puppets have some.

Les Enrobantes, the last play of the Trident season directed by Bertrand Alain, is one that deals with who we are, what we want and what we can bring to each other in every way...if you know what I mean. 

The stage is once again superbly organized. There are some musicians on house-right and there is a big wagon on the left.  The wagon opens to reveal Freud’s home and later on it becomes a whorehouse.  In the middle, there is a whore’s dressing table. Here exquisite verbal exchanges occur.

The Nazis have been ordered to burn them as psychoanalysis is considered to be a “Jewish science”.

The play takes place in Vienna, Austria at the end the 1930’s just before the second World War.  The soldiers comb the streets to keep things "orderly" but mostly because they are in search of Freud’s writings. The Nazis, presented as buffoons, have been ordered to burn them as psychoanalysis is considered to be a “Jewish science”. Misunderstandings about sexuality fill the rest of the play.

At the centre are Freud’s writings about his own erectile dysfunction. Everyone is seeking the texts for his or her own purpose. Two who are looking are renowned psychoanalysts Carl Gustav Jung (Patrick Ouellet) who would do almost anything to find this manuscript and hand it over to his dearest Melanie Klein (Véronika Makdissi-Warren). We clearly understand that what he wants by giving her the writings is that she is going to exchange them for sexual favors. Then, there are two crazy fools wearing straight jackets, looking for the same manuscripts. They bring more silliness to the play. Freud, the main puppet, is not only manipulated by, but actually converses with actor Pierre Robitaille.  As Freud so well expresses it, our world revolves around sex. Subsequently comedy and burlesque are used in a frenzied game of tag - everyone is running after the other. Lola (Valerie Laroche), a prostitute, is probably the most sane person of the piece. She speaks form her heart and she makes us think about how we treat one another, how we would like to be treated, respected and loved and even fucked.

Finally although the production is very fluid and the actor/puppeteers are remarkable, it became clear that puppetry is definitely not for me.

However, I can’t wait to see the next Trident season, beginning with actor Marc Labrèche in Les Aiguilles et l’opium by Robert Lepage...promising.

At Le Théâtre du Trident until May 18th, 2013

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