Yours Forever, Marie-Lou

By Michel Tremblay
Translated by Linda Gaboriau
Introduction by Diana Leblanc

Yours Forever, Marie-Lou
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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 ... Read more


Overview

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

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

“A quartet, with two conversations, in two different decades, happening at once. ” – Theatromania

“Its themes – Catholicism, sexuality, domestic abuse, and the legacy of a tragic death – are universal. ”
NOW Toronto

“A searing play about a damaged family in a breath-taking production brimming with compassion. ”
– Lynn Slotkin, The Slotkin Letter

“One of Quebec playwright Michel Tremblay’s greatest works, the Long Day’s Journey into Night of his oeuvre. ” – Globe and Mail

“[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

 

“A script that has earned its place in the Canadian theater canon. ” – Toronto Star

“A script that has earned its place in the Canadian theater canon. ” – Toronto Star

“A searing play about a damaged family in a breath-taking production brimming with compassion. ”
– Lynn Slotkin, The Slotkin Letter

“Its themes – Catholicism, sexuality, domestic abuse, and the legacy of a tragic death – are universal. ”
NOW Toronto

“One of Quebec playwright Michel Tremblay’s greatest works, the Long Day’s Journey into Night of his oeuvre. ” – Globe and Mail

“A quartet, with two conversations, in two different decades, happening at once. ” – Theatromania

“[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

 

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