reviewed by Paula Citron
Une maison face au nord
Written by Jean-Rock Gaudreault
Directed by Jacinthe Potvin
Starring Guy Mignault and Louisette Dussault with A.-J. Henderson, Marcelo Arroyo, Éric Chalifour and Sara Simard
Berkeley Street Theatre Upstairs
Théâtre français de Toronto has opened up a whole new window of plays by featuring some performances with English surtitles. A case in point is Jean-Rock Gaudreault’s Une maison face au nord, which just finished its run.
Gaudreault is a winner of the Governor-General’s Award for Literature, and this play, which translates as A North-Facing House, is filled with his trademark humour and poignancy. He clearly is a writer who works on many layers, and while focusing on the concept of the Last Angry Man, he touches on dysfunctional families, sovereignty issues, and outsiders.
Guy Mignault, TfT’s artistic director, gave a magnificent performance as a middle age, small town Québecois whose malaise runs deep. As his long-suffering wife, Louisette Dussault was perfection, while the rest of the cast held their own.
Perhaps Gaudreault’s greatest gift is that he can tell an individual story that touches the universal chord. His Quebec hinterland produced a disaffected Everyman whose rage against life can speak for us all.