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Le Chant du sink

Absurdist comedy in two parts by Jean Barbeau premiered March 15, 1973, produced by the Théâtre Populaire du Québec at the Collège Montmorency, directed by Pierre Fortin, set by Roger Ponce, costumes by Solange Legendre. Featuring Maurice Gibeau, Muriel Dutil, Claude Préfontaine, Han Masson, Dorothée Berryman, Andrée St-Laurent and Nicole Leblanc.

The set required by Barbeau's text is simplicity itself: In Act One there is a table, two chairs, plumbing pipes; in Act Two, take away the table. It is this kind of little silliness in which Barbeau revels to make his points -- always Quebec Nationalist in tone, always spoken in joual.

At the beginning of the play, the muses -- religion, the French language, social engagement, and sex -- are chained to the pipes. A playwright is not writing and his muses are bored. The muses bicker and the playwright agonizes about giving it all up because, "There's really no way to live off your writing, here." Barbeau's and the play's language are discussed: "Open your mouth to talk, like a Quebecker talks, and you're accused of being scabrous... Anyway, for the time being, f*** le Québec libre." A plumber/psychiatrist arrives, also an amateur writer. The playwright offers to sell the plumber his muses.

A light-hearted dialectic (à la Shaw) about art, language, politics and the mind that slowly but surely turns insane.

Commentary by Gaetan Charlebois

Last updated 2020-01-13