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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
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 320
Pub. Date: 2009
ISBN-10: 0889226237
ISBN-13: 9780889226234

About the Play:

La Litière (1994), Rappel (1995) and Ressusciter (1996), published together here in English-language translation as Embedded, Apocalypse, and Resurrection respectively, make up a trilogy of plays Ludwig & Mae featuring Gen-Xers Ludwig and Mae. 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 establishes their 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.

Apocalypse is a monodrama in which Ludwig stages his own suicidal ceremonial (along with unlikely allegorical characters such as a Pope, Giacometti's Cow and a Leather-Clad Muse).

Resurrection is Mae's testimonial, where she confronts and reconciles herself with Ludwig's death, breaks the cycle of their co-dependency, and finally comes into her own.

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 & 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.

This trilogy Ludwig & Mae established Louis Patrick Leroux as a leading figure of the Franco-Ontarian artistic renaissance of the 1990s. Rappel / Apocalypse, in particular, was quickly identified as a turning point from what had become a stultifying, identity-driven literary tradition, to a burgeoning of artistic freedom and formal exploration.

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 playwright, dramaturg, director and producer. He has been a vital force in the Franco-Ontarian theatre scene since his university days. 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. Mr. Leroux completed Theatre and French literature studies in Ottawa. He has a graduate degree in Arts Management from HEC-Montreal a graduate Drama degree from the Sorbonne in Paris and a phD in Drama from Concordia University of Montreal. He now lives and works in Montreal where he teaches Playwriting and Dramatic Literature at Concordia University's Department of English.