They say hindsight is 20/20. They’re not wrong.
Ten years after their parents’ death in a car accident, now-grown sisters Carmen and Manon are together for one of their rare visits – and one of them is finally ready to confront their shared tragedy.
Carmen is a boisterous country-and-western singer who has left her home, and all her past, in the dust. Manon lives a more sheltered life, closely aligned with the traditions of religious Quebec, which are now – in the mid-1970s – only beginning to come apart at the seams. Carmen is convinced it’s time for Manon to end the years of mourning, while Manon is insulted that Carmen seems to have responded so unfeelingly to such a horror.
Each sister has kept the memory of their parents alive in her own way. In fact – here they are, in living memory: Marie-Louise and Lèopold, the girls’ parents, are on stage simultaneously. Just beyond the ken of their daughters, they live out their final day.
As the two daughters struggle to reconcile the events preceding the fatal crash, and as their parents play out the culmination of their sodden marriage, we discover there is more to the memory of that fatal day than meets the eye. And yet, can the blame really be laid at the feet of one person? Or can a whole socio-cultural paradigm that twist its subjects into unbearable contortions and trap them in fear and submission, be at fault?
Cast of 3 women and 1 man.
Michel Tremblay is one of Quebec’s most important writers. Born in 1942 of mixed French, American, and Cree ancestry, he has been awarded the Governor General’s Award for the Arts, the Prix David from Québec, and a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in France. He divides his time between Montréal and Key West, producing at least one new play or novel every year; there are more than 30 of each, and all are beloved. He is perhaps most well known for his play Les Belles-Soeurs and his novel The Fat Woman Next Door Is Pregnant.
Linda Gaboriau, an award-winning literary translator, provides a new translation of this well-loved play. Gaboriau’s translations of plays by Quebec’s most prominent playwrights have been published and produced across Canada and abroad, and she has twice won the Governor General’s Award for Translation. She lives in Montreal.
“[The parents’] fight over peanut butter and toast slowly escalates into a harrowing excavation of the true causes of their deep unhappiness – which are cruelly rooted in the domination of the Catholic Church [and] the exploitation of the Quebec working class.” – Globe and Mail