Saturday, October 26, 2013

Review: (Montreal) Une vie pour deux

Evelyne de la Chenelière, Jean-François Casabonne, Violette Chauveau (photo by Caroline Laberge)

The Corpse
by Aleksandra Koplik

Une Vie Pour Deux is a a play about a middle-aged couple, Jean and Simone, who decide to go on vacation to Ireland in the hopes of reviving their relationship. There, Jean finds a dead woman's body washed up on the beach. The whole play itself concentrates on Jean and Simone's growing obsession with the cadaver. They try to imagine who this woman is and why she died. We learn that the deceased woman's name was Mary and that she was pregnant with a married man's child. This of course requires further probing from our leading characters in terms of the moral aspects of the situation, so much so that Mary becomes a stone in their already unstable relationship.

The synopsis is based on a novel by Marie Cardinal. Though the subject is very promising and the cast can certainly deliver, there was much potential that was left unexplored. All the characters had their own monologue. The work's playwright, Evelyne de la Chenelière (as Mary) provided an amazing performance in her movements as a corpse and in her speech. As an intervening character, she evoked the most sympathy. Jean being the most stereotypical and bland character, played by Jean-François Casabonne, was very believable and yet left the audience wishing for more in his internal conflict, trapped between a woman who has dedicated herself to him and a woman that is mysterious and unknown. Violette Chauveau (Simone) was the drive behind this play, her energy carried out all the way to the last row - she represents the mother, the woman, the girl and the wife. She saved the unresolved ending of the story. 

The stage was cleverly put together by a very large rectangular table and a few chairs. These were the props used for all scenes and left space for the actors' imaginations. Perhaps the most interesting part of the decor was the screen at the back of the stage that displayed the Irish sky and waterfront, complete with fog and lighting. 

All in all, the concept of Une Vie Pour Deux was thought provoking, the emotional impact strong. 

Une vie pour deux runs to November 2 

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