"Albertine" Returns in Toronto Debut of Tremblay's Past Perfect

News   "Albertine" Returns in Toronto Debut of Tremblay's Past Perfect The title character of Michel Tremblay's much-produced play, Albertine, in Five Times, returns to the stage in a new work, Past Perfect, getting its Toronto premiere at Tarragon Theatre's Mainspace beginning Feb. 22.
Michel Tremblay
Michel Tremblay Photo by Joshua Kessler

Linda Gaboriau translates the French Canadian play for Tarragon, the resident Toronto theatre that has embraced Tremblay — a major voice from Quebec — over the years.

The cast includes Nancy Beatty, Claire Calnan, Caroline Cave, Brendan Gall and Jeffrey R. Smith. Leah Cherniak directs. Opening is Feb. 28.

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According to Tarragon, "Michel Tremblay returns to the passionate character from Albertine, in Five Times in a moving and intense portrait of a young woman who loves to suffer for love. In Albertine, in Five Times, Tremblay portrayed this unforgettable woman during five decades of her life beginning in her thirties. In Past Perfect, we see Albertine (Caroline Cave) as a young woman of twenty with 'a soul on fire that devours everything she touches.' Still reeling from the heartbreak that plunged her into a nervous breakdown, Albertine sets out to reconquer the beau she has lost to her younger sister, Madeleine (Claire Calnan). From Albertine's perspective, she is sensitive, selfless and loyally devoted to Alex (Brendan Gall). Her family begs to differ. The play doesn’t show us the origin of her misery and self-pity that, according to her mother (Nancy Beatty), occurred at birth. Albertine has cast herself as a sacrificial lamb and on this fateful evening she will attempt to woo Alex away from her younger sister. Tremblay explores the extremity of contradiction between the way we see ourselves and the way we are perceived by others."

The production has set and costume design by Yannick Larivée, lighting design by Paul Mathiesen, original music and sound design by John Millard, video design by Cylla von Tiedemann. Michel Tremblay has been a dominant figure in Quebec theatre since the late 1960s. Tarragon has produced 12 of his plays, 10 of which were English-language premieres. Past Perfect is the 13th and marks the return of Albertine, 20 years after her first appearance in Tarragon's production of Albertine, in Five Times. Michel Tremblay’s plays have been performed throughout Canada and the United States, as well as in Europe, Asia, South America and Australia.

Tarragon has toured four Tremblay productions: to New York, across Canada, to Expo '86 in Vancouver, to London, England, Glasgow's Mayfest and the Edinburgh Festival. Linda Gaboriau won the Governor General's Award for her translation of Tremblay's For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again.

Performances play to April 2.

For more information, visit www.tarragontheatre.com.

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