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© Kelly Jacob

Surveillée et punie

Safia Nolin + Philippe Cyr

United by their ambition of transcending hate, singer-songwriter Safia Nolin and theatre director Phillippe Cyr take thousands of actual insults directed at the singer and use them as the raw material for this entirely musical—and entirely extraordinary—work. How do we deal with freedom of speech when it manifests as violence?

Bravely placing herself at the centre of the proceedings, Nolin confronts a large choir spewing bile at her. But in a celebration of the power of art and a vibrant appeal for togetherness, sisterhood and solidarity assert themselves. Even in the face of punishment inflicted by public opinion, music allows all kinds of possibilities, including the transformation of hateful relationships. Armed with her guitar, Safia Nolin finally reclaims the space that others seek to deny her.

General info

About the artists

© Safia Nolin

Safia Nolin (Montreal)

Appreciated both for her many covers of Quebec hits and her own folk compositions, she has appeared on stages in Quebec, Canada, and France.

Full biography
© Gaëlle Leroyer

Philippe Cyr (Montreal)

Since 2021, Philippe Cyr has been the artistic director and joint executive director of Théâtre Prospero, where he also cut his teeth as a theatre director.

Full biography

Media Coverage

« Une auteure-compositrice-interprète au talent rare. »

Catherine Genest, Voir, 13-08-2019

« Le metteur en scène Philippe Cyr n’a d’ailleurs jamais craint de s’attaquer à des projets titanesques. […] Il arrive à faire cohabiter beauté et laideur, dans un effet de contraste des plus réussis. »

Stéphanie Morin, La Presse+, 20-04-2022 about Atteintes à sa vie, by Philippe Cyr

« Bien en vie, Safia Nolin n’a plus envie de porter la croix qui lui brise le dos : l’industrie de la musique, les trolls, l’enflure médiatique. Elle est déterminée à tracer son propre chemin, le poing levé et la tête haute. »

Charles-Éric Blais-Poulin, La Presse+, 28-10-2021

« La mise en scène n’est pas loin d’être magistrale. Tout participe à créer un spectacle éblouissant : la musique, le jeu sur les sons, les distorsions de voix, les costumes brillants, le magnifique travail sur la lumière, la scénographie singulière. Un effet « WOW » en émane inévitablement et fait de ces Insoutenables longues étreintes une pièce difficile à oublier. »

Jules Couturier, Journal Métro, 06-04-2023 about Insoutenables longues étreintes, by Philippe Cyr

« Le metteur en scène Philippe Cyr donne ici une leçon de théâtre contemporain. »

Mario Cloutier, La Presse +, 01-04-2023 about Insoutenables longues étreintes, by Philippe Cyr


“Apparently, there’s something in my story, in my life, that features absolutely all the characteristics that offend people. I represent change and difference. I also have the impression that I could easily have been who I am if I didn’t express it so openly; then it wouldn’t have shocked people as much. I think it’s the fact that I don’t apologize for who I am that bothers people the most.”

Read the interview