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Michel Tremblay's

Les Belles-Soeurs

August 8th - October 28thFestival TheatreTicket Info
Generally Positive Reviews based on 6 Critics
  • bottom 30% of shows in the 2023 season
6 Reviews
Comments

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The Beacon Herald - Bruce Urquhart

Marvellous

“As deft as Jun’s direction is, the success of this production largely hinges on the performances of its 15 actors – and they are uniformly marvellous. Led by Lucy Peacock as Germaine and Seana McKenna as Rose Ouimet, Germain’s acerbic sister, the entire cast is simply top notch. It almost feels as if you’re eavesdropping on a particularly fractious kitchen party…

Joella Crichton earns some of the play’s biggest laughs as the oblivious Yvette Longpré, dazzling the audience with a soliloquy where she lists the names of every guest at her daughter’s wedding. As the snooty Lisette De Courval, Jennifer Villaverde is wonderfully irritating as she annoys her neighbours with boasts about her European vacations and fur coats.

…Deliberately, the most moral character of the play is also the most reviled. The fourth sister, Pierrette Guérin, has been ostracized by her family and neighbourhood because she works in a nightclub.”

Read Full Review08/30/2023

Our Theatre Voice - Joe Szekeres

Pained individuals

“What a treat to watch Diana Leblanc’s performance as the wheelchair-bound elderly Olivine Dubuc. Leblanc remains silent for most of the production, but periodic glances at her during the play show she is committed totally in the moment and listens intently. There are moments when Leblanc maneuvers the wheelchair at a perfectly timed moment for comedy. Her participation in the Bingo game is a riot.

As Thérèse Dubuc, Irene Poole’s palpable frustration is sometimes harsh towards Olivine, her mother-in-law. One moment drew a gasp of shock. But let’s not forget these women from Tremblay’s life are pained individuals…”

Read Full Review08/29/2023

Intermission Magazine - Aisling Murphy

Visually pleasing, well-paced

“Director Esther Jun has put together a visually pleasing, well-paced production, but the actors frequently fall in and out of Quebecker accents, further signalling that it might be time for a new adaptation of the work, with less of a wall between the words being spoken and the ideas being developed inside Germaine’s kitchen.

Still, not all is lost – much of the supporting cast of Les Belles-Soeurs is excellent, particularly Seana McKenna as the crotchety (but ultimately deeply sympathetic) Rose Ouimet.”

Read Full Review08/31/2023

The Globe and Mail - Glenn Sumi

A critique of capitalism and the...

“Some elements of the play haven’t aged well. There’s Thérese Dubuc’s (Irene Poole) rough treatment of her immobile mother-in-law Olivine Dubuc (Diana Leblanc), for instance…

Other aspects are timeless. A discussion about abortion among a group of young women seems depressingly relevant. And from the vantage point of half a century, it’s easy to see the entire work as a critique of capitalism and the patriarchy. Rather than band together and fight the oppressive institutions keeping them down, these women bicker amongst themselves.”

Read Full Review08/27/2023

Stage Door - Christopher Hoile

Masterpiece of Canadian drama

“Les Belles-Soeurs (1968) by Michel Tremblay is one of the undisputed masterpieces of Canadian drama. To have it and anther undisputed masterpiece James Reaney’s The Donnellys: A Trilogy (1973-75) playing at the Blyth Festival, just 45 minutes from Stratford, means that a trip to the Stratford area right now is an absolute must for any student or teacher of Canadian drama as well as any theatre-goer who enjoys fine drama no matter what its country of origin.

Tremblay’s play and Reaney’s trilogy, though each reflects the history of its own province, namely Quebec and Ontario, both strangely reflect the same theme of punishment for non-conformity…”

Read Full Review08/27/2023

Ontario Stage - Kelly Monaghan

Peacock and McKenna give pitch perfect

“Les Belles-Soeurs is a searchingly satirical and surprisingly loving portrait of a milieu on the brink of transformation…

…seeing Les Belles-Soeurs would be worth it if only to see old pros Peacock and McKenna give pitch perfect performances. Trembley has created a very nice mother daughter dynamic between Germaine and Linda and Peacock and Emesowum pull it off beautifully. Irene Poole is appropriately frazzled as the caretaker for Diana Leblanc who is a perfect trouper as the demented Olivine Dubuc.

Shannon Taylor manages to look worn, drawn, and frumpy as Marie-Ange, something I would have thought impossible. She is fierce as she leads the ensemble in an extended bitching session about the humdrum lives they lead as virtual slaves to their husbands and kids. Among the younger set, Marissa Orjalo is touching as the knocked-up Lise, who is opting to terminate her pregnancy.”

Read Full Review08/02/2023

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