What happened in the house where four FLQ militants held Pierre Laporte hostage? A Martin Genest adaptation of Falardeau’s Octobre. Engaging theatre of observation.
October Crisis – Ringside Seat
On October 10, 1970, four members of the Chénier cell of the Front de libération du Québec kidnapped the Minister of Labour Pierre Laporte, whose body was found a week later in the trunk of a car. What happened in the house on Armstrong Street in Longueuil where the four militants held him hostage?
The house is there onstage, with no roof. The spectators look down into the house from all sides, witnesses to the goings-on, the interactions, doubts and deeds. Martin Genest adapted for the stage the script of the Pierre Falardeau film Octobre, which the filmmaker had co-written with one of the kidnappers, turning it into engaging theatre of observation.
Reactivating the Brechtian idea of theatre as a site for the critical objectification of human choices, Octobre 70 questions with harrowing rigour the contradictions between convictions and action.
THÉÂTRE BLANC / Staging a creative force
Théâtre Blanc, a company founded in Quebec City in 1979, went through three distinct artistic periods. Under first director Denis Bernard, it focused on individuals on the fringe of society in a series of collective works. Starting in 1987, Gill Champagne shifted the company’s focus to playwrights with a strong voice – Daniel Danis, Normand Chaurette – and on exploring set design as art of the real, in conjunction with Jean Hazel, stage designer, who became artistic director in 2003. While pursuing research on the stage space, Théâtre Blanc is working with like-minded directors attuned to the company’s approach.
PRODUCED BY THÉÂTRE BLANC
BASED ON THE SCREENPLAY OFOCTOBRE DE / BY PIERRE FALARDEAU FROM THE BOOKPOUR EN FINIR AVEC OCTOBREBY FRANCIS SIMARD ADAPTED, DIRECTED AND CREATED BYMARTIN GENEST WITH VINCENT CHAMPOUX + ÉRIC LEBLANC + LOUIS-OLIVIER MAUFFETTE + RENAUD PARADIS + LUCIEN RATIO SET DESIGN JEAN HAZELSOUND DESIGN STÉPHANE CARON COSTUME DESIGNHUGUETTE LAUZÉ LIGHTING DESIGN LOUIS-XAVIER GAGNONPROJECTIONS LIONEL ARNOULDDRAMATURGY MIRA CLICHE
PRESENTED IN ASSOCIATION WITH PLACE DES ARTS
PREMIERED AT THÉÂTRE PÉRISCOPE, QUEBEC CITY, MARCH 2010
WRITTEN BY PAUL LEFEBVRETRANSLATED BY NEIL KROETSCH
MARTIN GENEST (QUÉBEC)
For the past fifteen years Martin Genest has followed an unorthodox career path based on explorations of the spatial connection between actors and audience, as can be seen in his staging of Kundera’s Jacques et son maître at Théâtre du Trident and Thomas Vinterberg’s Festen, fête de famille at Théâtre Blanc.
In his adaptation of Pierre Falardeau’s Octobre, he further explores the possibilities offered by redefining the relationship between actors and audience, subverting the expectations of the spectator. He recently directed the play for adultsCabaret Gainsbourg by Populus Mordicus, a puppet theatre company that he co-directs.