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Ludwig & Mae

Ludwig & Mae
Your Price: $19.95 CDN
Author: Louis Patrick Leroux
Translated by: Shelly Tepperman & Ellen Warkentin
Foreword by: Jane Moss
Publisher: Talonbooks (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 320
Pub. Date: 2009
ISBN-10: 0889226237
ISBN-13: 9780889226234

About the Play:

Ludwig & Mae is the collective title for three inter-related plays by Louis-Patrick Leroux translated by Shelley Tepperman and Ellen Warkenten. La Litière, Rappel and Ressusciter, published in English-language translation as Embedded, Apocalypse, and Resurrection respectively, make up the Ludwig & Mae cycle of plays featuring two 20-somethings. Ludwig, trained as an engineer, hasn't been able to find work since graduating some time ago. The fact that he is sardonic, philosophically inclined and suicidal hasn't helped in this regard. Mae, on the other hand, is an actress who has never been out of work. Caught in a perverse relationship, she plays into Ludwig's constant mind games until one day she decides she's had enough.

Embedded reveals the two central characters in stasis, seeming to have been in bed for an eternity; in worship of their own relationship, which they've built into a sort of monument; plotting each other's demise. Their words sting, their bodies tremble, their fears feed, their hopes devour. Embedded exposes Ludwig & Mae's twisted Strindbergian relationship, while introducing the Philosopher-cum-Chinese Delivery Guy – the absurdist character who acts as a catalyst for the simmering emotional crisis about to explode. (Cast: 2 female, 2 male)

Apocalypse is set in the surrealistic landscape of Ludwig's destructive mind, following the events of Embedded. Ludwig's subconscious is personified into three equally absurd, hilarious, and disturbing characters: The Pope, The Muse, and the Giacometti-Style Cow. Together, they analyze Ludwig's past and the failings of society, in a desperate attempt to either justify or revolt against Ludwig's ritualistic plan to commit suicide. (Cast: 6 female, 4 male)

Resurrection is Mae's testimonial of her relationship with Ludwig. The final chapter in this story counterpoints Apocalypse's subversiveness with beautiful clarity. The events that unfolded with Ludwig have left Mae shattered. In Resurrection, she confronts her past selves in a simple yet painful gesture of reconciliation. (Cast: 5 female)

Together, these plays literally "stage" the internalized and therefore repressed failure of the search for an authentic life in art: the decorative nihilism of the post-modern ethos. Taking us on a cathartic journey from despair to exhilaration – at times perilous, comic, edgy and passionate – Ludwig and Mae releases its audiences from the artificial dark of the theatre into the liberating light of day, radiant with a new understanding: life does not imitate art, life makes art.

The original French productions of the Ludwig & Mae cycle – La Litière (1994), Rappel (1995) and Ressusciter (1996) – established Louis Patrick Leroux as a leading figure of the Franco-Ontarian artistic renewal of the 1990s. The premiere of the English translations of the Ludwig and Mae trilogy was in 2013, one at a time, on consecutive evenings, at les Ateliers Jean-Brillant in Montreal.

What people say:

"The writing is brilliant: it's Who's Afraid Virginia Woolf rewritten by Marivaux." — Le Voyageur (Sudbury)

"…audacious avant-garde spectacles of sexual and cruel impulses." — Jane Moss, Director of Canadian and North American Studies of Duke University

About the Playwright:

Louis-Patrick Leroux is a Montréal-based playwright, director, and professor who holds a joint appointment in the departments of English and French Studies at Concordia University where he teaches playwriting and Québec drama and literature. Originally from Eastern Ontario, he founded Ottawa's Théâtre la Catapulte in 1992 and directed the company for the following six years. He has been playwright-in-residence at both the Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario in Sudbury and the Leighton Artist Colony at the Banff Centre for the Arts.