Michel Tremblay

Berthe - Michel Tremblay

This quick little play packs in a multitude of ideas in only a few short pages. Berthe is the ticket girl at a late night cinema, the play is her monologue on the state of her life, lost dreams, and confinement by expectation. She is literally confined within the ticket booth, however this booth is a metaphor for her stagnant existence and inability to realize the dreams she enacts so vividly through the play. Interrupted only by the monotonous droning of the doorman with the same words over and over, she wrestles with her status stuck in between expectation and disappointment.

A lovely short one-hander that really illustrates what happens to us when our dreams die.

La Duchesse de Langeais - Michel Tremblay

Since I have been reading incessantly on Duchesses, I thought it would be good to pick up Tremblay's la Duchesse, given the irreverence with which he approaches most of existence. Tremblay's Duchesse, unlike our Lady of Malfi, is a middle-aged drag queen who has worked most of her life as a prostitute. Not just any, but in her eyes the most high class, respected woman imaginable. This two-act monologue shows us the many sides of this woman who has lived her whole existence in another skin so to speak, and even within this has opposing sides battling with one another to expose tidbits of truth. La Duchesse suffers, and brings the audience along in her suffering as she gets increasingly intoxicated drinking straight whiskey.

This piece is a bit of a tour de force, and would be brilliant to work on as a director.