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Past Perfect

Past Perfect
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Michel Tremblay
Translated by: Linda Gaboriau
Publisher: Talonbooks (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 94
Pub. Date: 2004
ISBN-10: 0889224935
ISBN-13: 9780889224933
Cast Size: 3 female, 2 male

About the Play:

Past Perfect (English version of Le passé antérieur) is a full-length drama by Michel Tremblay, translated by Linda Gaboriau. This prequel to Albertine, in Five Times recounts the genesis of Albertine's revolt. While the original play depicts each of the five decades of her life from age 30 to 70, Past Perfect gives us Albertine at 20. It's Thursday night and Albertine has put on her sister's best dress and she's ready for a fight. She has lost her beau and she wants him back. Michel Tremblay returns to this fascinating and rebellious character on a night that will irrevocably determine her fate.

Past Perfect is a prequel to the classic Albertine, in Five Times, in which Michel Tremblay portrayed one of his most unforgettable characters during five decades of her life, beginning in her thirties. In Past Perfect, we see the indomitable Albertine at twenty in Depression-era Montreal and discover the dark secret of her being. Still reeling from the heartbreak that plunged her into a nervous breakdown, Albertine sets out to re-conquer the beau she has lost to her younger sister, Madeleine. From Albertine's perspective, she is sensitive, selfless and loyally devoted to Alex. Her family begs to differ. The play doesn't show us the origin of her misery and self-pity that, according to her mother, occurred at birth. Albertine has cast herself as a sacrificial lamb and on this fateful Thursday evening she will attempt to woo Alex away from her younger sister. Will she find the strength to survive the crisis that grips her very essence in this dark night of her soul? Or will she spend the rest of her days foundering in an endless rage that could extinguish all hope of love ever lighting up her life? In this extremity of contradiction between the way we see ourselves and the way others see us, Michel Tremblay stages the agony of the imagination in chains, the tragedy of an understanding of the imagination as a way to the truth, rather than as a path to understanding.

Past Perfect premiered in 2004 at the venerable Centaur Theatre, the oldest English-language theatre in Montréal, in a co-production with Toronto's Tarragon Theatre, where it was shown early the next year.

Cast: 3 female, 2 male

What people say:

"Michel Tremblay strikes gold again." — Montréal Gazette

"The really scary, or beautiful, part is how much Albertine there is in every one of us." — The Globe and Mail

"Past Perfect is a masterpiece of dramatic intensity… Not only does Gaboriau convey Tremblay's infectious humour, she unerringly situates the locus of this dramatic intensity, together with the contradictory nature of the emotions — love and hate, contempt and compassion, acceptance and rejection — in which it is grounded, in the ever-expanding space between two antithetical, non-dialectical, non-negotiable views of self." — University of Toronto Quarterly

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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