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Forever Yours, Marie-Lou

Forever Yours, Marie-Lou
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Michel Tremblay
Translated by: Bill Glassco & John Van Burek
Publisher: Talonbooks
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 80
Pub. Date: 1990
Edition: 2nd
ISBN-10: 0889223491
ISBN-13: 9780889223493
Cast Size: 3 women, 1 man

About the Play:

Forever Yours, Marie-Lou (English version of À toi, pour toujours, ta Marie-Lou) is a full-length drama by Michel Tremblay, translated by John Van Burek and Bill Glassco. This potent play strikes at the heart of an unforgettable, dysfunctional Québecois family. Carmen, a country singer, returns home to convince Manon, her sister, to end years of mourning the death of their parents. Past and present intermingle as the two daughters struggle to reconcile their visions of the past while the parents, Marie-Lou and Léopold, enact the events leading up to their meeting with powers beyond their control.

Forever Yours, Marie-Lou is a raw exploration of a fractured family, in which each member grapples with their cultural and sexual identities. 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, appear 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, which twists its subjects into unbearable contortions and traps them in fear and submission, be at fault? This substantially revised translation by John Van Burek and Bill Glassco, which played at the 1990 Stratford Festival, updates their original English translation.

À toi, pour toujours, ta Marie-Lou premiered in French in 1971 at Théâtre de Quat'Sous in Montréal, Québec. Yours Forever, Marie-Lou had its English-language premiere in 1972 at Tarragon Theatre in Toronto. Since then the play has has been produced many times across, notably at the Stratford Festival in 1990, becoming the first Québec work to be produced at Stratford.

Cast: 3 women, 1 man

What people say:

"...a script that has earned its place in the Canadian theatre canon." — Toronto Star

"...powerful and shocking, not in the sense of breaching taboos but of telling dramatic truths. There's poignance, too, in the one glimpse of former tenderness, as captured in the title, whichever way round you want to phrase it." — National Post

"…a true Canadian classic, with an excellent and authentic new translation by Linda Gaboriau." — Mooney on Theatre

"...the play still fascinates and horrifies as an ugly portrait of a dead-end working-class marriage turned unbearably toxic." — Torontoist

About the Playwright:

Michel Tremblay has been one of Québec's most prominent playwrights since the end of the 1960s. One of the most produced and the most prominent playwrights in the history of Canadian theatre, he has received countless prestigious honours and accolades. His dramatic, literary and autobiographical works, originally written in French, have long enjoyed remarkable international popularity and translations of his plays have received huge success worldwide.

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