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Les Feluettes

Drama in seven episodes by Michel Marc Bouchard, co-produced by the Théâtre Petit à Petit and the National Arts Centre; premiered September 10, 1987; directed by André Brassard; with set by Richard Lacroix; costumes by Marc-André Coulombe; lighting by Claude Accolas; and featuring René Richard Cyr, Hubert Gagnon, Jean Archambault, Jean-François Blanchard, René Gagnon, Claude Godbout, Yves Jacques, Roger La Rue and Denis Roy. Translated as Lilies (The Revival of a Romantic Drama) by Linda Gaboriau and premiered at Theatre Passe Muraille February 1, 1991; directed by Brian Richmond; with set and costumes by Leslie Frankish; lighting by Steven Hawkins; featuring John Gilbert among others. Also filmed, in English, as Lilies with screenplay by the author and Gaboriau, directed by John Greyson. It has subsequently been performed around the world - in Mexico, Phoenix, Denver and New York and Tokyo.

Despite previous well-received works this play truly launched Bouchard into the Quebec theatre pantheon. Like many of his plays the language is elegant, the imagery highly imaginative, and the interplay of the characters complex and surprising.

In 1952 a group of ex-prisoners under the direction of Simon trap a bishop, Jean Bilodeau, and recreates a series of events for him that took place forty years earlier when Simon and Bilodeau were at school in Roberval, a small town in Northern Quebec.

Simon was in love with a young count, a ruined French aristocrat exiled with his mother (who had become mad while waiting for her husband's return and the fall of the Third Republic that would signal the return of the monarchy and the family's status). The ex-prisoners recount the troubled love story of the count and Simon and the attempts by Bilodeau to come between them. The actors are trying to get the bishop to admit to the real circumstances surrounding the death of the young count, a death for which Simon was unjustly condemned.

As an openly gay writer, Bouchard has continued to deal with questions about gay love within Quebec society. But Les Feluettes is certainly his most memorable effort.

Commentary by Gaetan Charlebois.

Last updated 2021-03-16