Assorted Candies for the Theatre

By Michel Tremblay
Translated by Linda Gaboriau

Assorted Candies for the Theatre
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Assorted Candies for the Theatre is a stage adaptation of Michel Tremblay’s fourth book of autobiographical sketches, Bonbons Assortis / Assorted Candies, offering a rich and colourful cast of characters in this exquisite remembrance of childhood past in Montreal’s Plateau ... Read more


Overview

Assorted Candies for the Theatre is a stage adaptation of Michel Tremblay’s fourth book of autobiographical sketches, Bonbons Assortis / Assorted Candies, offering a rich and colourful cast of characters in this exquisite remembrance of childhood past in Montreal’s Plateau Mont-Royal neighbourhood. Much more than a mere adaptation of a prose memoir for the stage, in re-crafting his characters from the realm of thought and memory to the present action of the theatre, Tremblay generously reveals how it’s done. Here is the beginning of the narrator’s opening speech from the play:

Memory is a mirror that chooses what it wants to reflect. Memory is a mirror that distorts. And cheats. And lies. Memory can embellish things or make them ugly, it interprets as it sees fit and draws its own conclusions. And all too often our memory leads us down paths that our conscience would advise us to avoid, but those paths seem so promising and irresistible. Memory revives events that never happened and obliterates important facts, it emphasizes the most absurd trivia and chooses to forget essential details. In short, our memory fabricates a distorted image of the past, then imposes it as gospel truth when it’s really just a sketchy interpretation—but always more interesting, livelier and more vivid than reality. Memory is the mother of invention. And the big sister of imagination.

Michel Tremblay

Born in a working-class family in Québec, novelist and playwright Michel Tremblay was raised in Montreal’s Plateau neighbourhood. An ardent reader from a young age, Tremblay began to write, in hiding, as a teenager. Because of their charismatic originality, their vibrant character portrayals, and the profound vision they embody, Tremblay’s dramatic, literary, and autobiographical works have long enjoyed remarkable international popularity; his plays have been adapted and translated into dozens of languages and have achieved huge success throughout Europe, the Americas, and the Middle East.

A seven-time recipient of grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, during his career Tremblay has received more than seventy-five prizes, citations, and honours, including nine Chalmers Awards and five Prix du grand public, presented during Montreal’s annual book fair, Salon du livre. Tremblay has also received six honorary doctorates.

The French Government, in 1984, honoured Tremblay’s complete body of work when it made him Chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres de France; thereafter, in 1991, he was raised to Officer of the Order. In 2008, he was created Chevalier de la légion d’honneur de France. Tremblay was appointed, in 1991, Chevalier de l’ordre national du Québec and was promoted to Grand Officier in 2015. In 1999, he received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award. In 2011, he was honoured with the Révolution tranquille medal, given by the Ministry of Culture of Québec, awarded to artists, creators, and artisans who began their careers between 1960 and 1970 and who still have an influence in their field of practice. In total, Tremblay has written twenty-seven plays and twenty-seven novels.

Linda Gaboriau

A major figure in Quebec theatre, MICHEL TREMBLAY has built an impressive body of work as a playwright, novelist, translator, and screenwriter. To date, Michel’s complete works include 29 plays (including 2 theatrical adaptations of his own work); 30 novels; 6 collections of autobiographical stories; a collection of tales; 7 screenplays; 46 translations/adaptations of works by foreign writers; 9 plays and 12 stories printed in diverse publications; an opera libretto; a song cycle; a Symphonic Christmas Tale and 2 musicals. His plays have been published and translated into 40 languages and have garnered critical acclaim in Canada, the United States, and more than 50 countries around the world. His name can be found in the Larousse and Robert Dictionaries, the Who’s Who Encyclopedia, the Dictionary of International Biography and the Encyclopedia Britannica. During his career, Michel has received more than 80 prizes, citations and honours including the Grand Prix de la Francophonie, awarded by the Académie française in 2018, as well as the Prince Pierre de Monaco Literary Prize and the Prix Gilles-Corbeil for his contribution to the arts in 2017. A six-time winner of grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, he won nine Chalmers Awards and five Grand Prix du public presented during Montreal’s annual book fair le Salon du livre. In 1999, he was awarded the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards. He has also received six honorary doctorates.

Reviews

“It’s vintage Tremblay (out-Prousting Proust), filled with primal privations and inspirations of awe, a family’s love and terrors, the stuff that makes a writer a writer: Family. Church. Lust. Poverty. The whole enthralling works. ”
— Globe and Mail

“It’s vintage Tremblay (out-Prousting Proust), filled with primal privations and inspirations of awe, a family’s love and terrors, the stuff that makes a writer a writer: Family. Church. Lust. Poverty. The whole enthralling works. ”
—Globe and Mail

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