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The Ventriloquist

The Ventriloquist
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Larry Tremblay
Translated by: Keith Turnbull
Publisher: Talonbooks
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 62
Pub. Date: 2001
ISBN-10: 0889225362
ISBN-13: 9780889225367
Cast Size: 1 woman, 1 man and 6 voices (3 woman, 3 men)

About the Play:

The Ventriloquist (English-language version of Le ventriloque) is a full-length drama by Larry Tremblay, translated by Keith Turnbull. It's the day of her 16th birthday, and the rebellious Gabby has liberated herself from girlhood by cutting off her long braids and locking herself in her room to write romantic stories with her new gold-plated Parker pen, which has the power to make the things she writes come true. Or does it?

The Ventriloquist focuses on Gaby, a budding young novelist who, for her 16th birthday receives a shiny Parker pen. Everything she writes with it becomes true. She wants to write The most beautiful love story in the world, but her brother steals her magic pen. As an adult, Gaby now has to endure Doctor Limestone's bizarre therapy as he tries to force her to finish the story. But who is the real marionette? Told in the form of a ventriloquist who communicates through a puppet of the teenaged girl, the play explores family, memory, and the struggle to find one's authentic voice.

Le ventriloque premiered in 2001 at the International Theater of French Language (TILF) in Paris and had subsequent productions in Brussels and Montréal. Its English-language translation by Keith Turnbull premiered in 2006 at the Factory Theatre in Toronto.

Cast: 1 woman, 1 man and 6 voices (3 woman, 3 men)

What people say:

"This translation [is] skilfully wrought by director Keith Turnbull… This is, from the get-go, a foray into the absurd, but you are soon so busy trying to keep track of the many layers of Tremblay's twisted scenario that the absurdity becomes secondary. What lingers is a degree of delight at Tremblay's ability not so much to weave a storyline as to unravel one with such finesse and beauty." — Toronto Sun

"A brilliantly constructed play that breaks through theatrical convention." — Le Soleil (Montréal)

"This is the best new Quebec play in many years. " — CBC Radio-Canada

"Without a doubt the most recent play by the author of The Dragonfly of Chicoutimi is a fascinating thing." — La Presse (Montréal)

"Eschewing a traditional narrative structure, Larry Tremblay's The Ventriloquist creates level upon level of dramatic tension; the result is a riveting play excitingly free of any pretense towards kitchen-sink realism? Tremblay's play, like a deeply thoughtful gift, is stunning." — Rain Taxi Review of Books

About the Playwright:

Larry Tremblay is a Québec writer, director, actor and specialist in kathakali, classical dance-theater, which he studied on numerous trips to India. He has published over thirty books as a playwright, novelist, poet and essayist. His works have been translated into twenty languages and his plays have been produced in many countries.

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