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"Beast On The Moon" in Quebec City: Third Review
March 11, 2018
We have another positive review for Beast on the Moon at the Theatre La Bordée in Quebec City! This review comes from Alain-Martin Richard, of the publication Jeu Revue de Théâtre. Please read below for the rough English translation, or click here to read it in its native French if you'd like:
Our memory is marked by the countless massacres that encumber the 20th century until today. The American author Richard Kalinoski tells the difficult reconstruction of those who remain.
Two survivors of the Armenian Genocide, whose families have been decimated in dismal scenes that will haunt their memory, are trying to rebuild their lives. Aram is dark, severe, stuck in the discipline, reproducing the family tradition. His desire to replace his lost family places him in a world of illusion that keeps reality at bay. Seta, a young orphan whom Aram has brought to marry her, is cheerful and grateful for finding her husband and country. All hopes are allowed. Alas, the infertility of the young woman puts an end to the hope of Aram and the couple sinks into suffering and sadness. Silence and the unspoken are poisoning their lives.
Two objects carry in them the drama of the young couple. A photo and a rag doll. The photo of Aram's family, all of whose members have been decapitated, is on the buffet. He reproduced this photo leaving a black hole instead of the heads. The doll of Seta is the only memory she has of her mother. Both objects are a foil for each other. The photo is a horror image for Seta who has to endure it every day as a morbid demonstration of an impossible dream. The doll is rejected by Aram who sees a childishness unworthy of an adult woman. Vincent, a young orphan, son of Italian immigrant, will come to save the couple by its resilience and openness to the world. Despite his suffering, despite the abuse he suffered at the orphanage, Vincent will explode their psychological prison.
Housed in a 1920s realistic setting, A Beast on the Moon , with its period atmosphere, unfolds in a sort of suspension in time. This is emphasized by the comments of the elderly Vincent, who directs the story. This coryphée full of compassion, almost mocking, is worn by a Jack Robitaille in great shape. He informs us both about the history of Armenia and the tragedy of this young couple of which he was an actor and witness. This clever narrative device combines emotion and distancing.
The director Amélie Bergeron, anchored in the finely chiseled text, and you can bet on these young actors still little known on the scene of Quebec. Beautiful discovery! The coldness, the uncompromising harshness of Mustapha Aramis (Aram), is exacerbated by the palpable metamorphosis of Ariane Bellavance-Fafard (Seta), passing from the shy and submissive girl to the voluntary and vindictive adult woman. Rosalie Daoust (young Vincent), mischievous in misfortune, interferes with natural and casually between the antagonists of this couple on the edge of the abyss. She offers a very endearing character.
Kalinoski's play talks about all the deportees and migrants from the murdered fighting areas. He tells the story of the difficult self-reconstruction of survivors in a very credible process of getting rid of a mortifying past and walking towards a future full of hope. The "resurrection" of Aram, in a luminous scene of dazzling simplicity, is a piece of anthology. Mustapha Aramis embodies with such a physical presence his epiphany that the public is itself pierced. A brilliant piece to modulate our view of the world's migrants.