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Carole Frechette: Two Plays

Carole Frechette: Two Plays
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Carole Frechette
Translated by: John Murrell
Publisher: Playwrights Canada Press
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 112
Pub. Date: 2007
ISBN-10: 0887545017
ISBN-13: 9780887545016
Cast Size: 1 woman, 1 man

About the Book:

Contains two plays by award-winning Québec playwright Carole Fréchette, translated from French by celebrated playwright John Murrell. The volume Carole Fréchette: Two Plays includes the often-produced contemporary Canadian classic Helen's Necklace as well as John and Beatrice.

Helen's Necklace (English version of Le collier d'Hélène) tells the story of Helen, a Canadian academic attending a conference in a war-scarred Middle-Eastern city, who abruptly decides to stay on after her colleagues have left in order to search for a lost pearl necklace. The necklace is irreplaceable. Nabil, a friendly taxi driver, becomes her guide and her defender on a wild ride through crowded streets and tumbledown neighbourhoods of the near devastated city. Time and reality are slipping through her fingers. In language as shimmering as the strand of pearls itself – its value isn't what we initially think – Carole Fréchette brings Helen into contact with a series of people, from a distraught mother to an angry, impassioned man. Confrontations and questions get in her way. Her journey brings her face to face with the realization of how small her problems are when measured against the pain of others who haven't lost a necklace but, freedom, hope, and family. Helen's Necklace is a contemporary Canadian classic, one that has even greater resonance in the context of the tragedies unfolding in Syria and other strife-torn regions in our consciousness. More than that, the play is a timeless evocation of loss and disillusionment, and the search for hope and renewal.

Le collier d'Hélène (Helen's Necklace) earned Carole Fréchette the Sony Labou Tansi Award in France.

Cast: 1 woman, 1 man playing 5 characters (1 woman and 4 men)

What people say:

"If you're looking for a piece of theatre that's simple yet profound, then look no further than ... Helen's Necklace." — Toronto Star

"A pearl of a play … riveting." — NOW Magazine, Toronto

"Anyone in need of a reminder of just how good Canadian theatre gets is urged to catch this gossamer beauty…." — The Vancouver Sun

John and Beatrice (English version of Jean et Béatrice) is about the difficulty of connection and the meaning of love. Beatrice has placed a personal ad: "Well-to-do young woman is seeking a man who will interest, move and seduce her." High above the city, she sits on the 33rd floor of an office tower waiting for the right man to respond to her ad. When John appears, the games begin. But if he wins, what then?

Cast: 1 woman, 1 man

What people say:

"John and Beatrice is, quite simply, exquisite: it should be savoured." — Le Soir (Brussels)

About the Playwright:

Carole Fréchette was born in Montreal and is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada. Still based in Montreal, she has been an important figure in Québec's theatre for over 25 years. Translated into 15 languages, her work has been staged all over the world, from Montreal to Reykjavik, Paris and Tokyo. She won the 1995 Governor General's Award for her play Les Quatre morts de Marie (The Four Lives of Marie) and the 1998 Chalmers Award for the same play translated into English.

John Murrell (1945-2019) is one of Canada's best known international playwrights. His dramas focus on real people and cultural icons. He has also written operas, and translated works by anyone from Sophocles to Chekhov. He has headed the Banff Playwright's Colony and the Theatre Section of the Canada Council, been Associate Director of the Stratford Festival and Artistic Director of the Banff Centre for the Arts, and is a multiple Chalmers Award winner. For his enormous contributions to the arts in his adopted province and country, the Texas-born Murrell received the Alberta Order of Excellence and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada. His plays have been translated into 15 languages and produced in more than 35 countries around the world.