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Cahiers de Théâtre Jeu

Fool for Love
Théâtre de Quat’Sous 20th January – 14th February 1987

Review by Michel Vaïs

Text : Sam Shepard, translated by Michèle Magny
Director : Michèle Magny assisted by Lou Arteau
Set Designer : Michel Crète
Costumes : Ginette Noiseux
Lighting : Luc Prairie
Special effects and soundtrack : Claude Simard

May : Marie Tifo
Eddie : Guy Thauvette
The father : Aubert Pallascio
Martin : Roy Dupuis

When the sun goes out

In a room with metal walls that resembles a prison (the set has a chilly robustness), in deepest New Mexico, Eddie and May are having a fight. They adore each other and hate each other. They can’t live together and talk all the time about splitting up. They torment each other primarily – but not solely – with words, in front of two witnesses: the father, enigmatic and like a ghost (we learn later he is the father of both of them), and the young Martin, whom May uses to provoke Eddie.

In this heavy play, full of restrained violence, slamming doors invariably punctuate the characters’ exits, which are almost always false. While the translation contains several mistakes, the direction is imaginative. The lighting raised a smile (the sun came up from two directions at once), as did the noises that announced the arrival and departure of cars offstage. There was a lot of movement of vehicles in the play, and even an attack and the burning of a horse truck, all suggested by light and sound. But the effects were too imprecise. They either have to be realistic or not at all. On the other hand, the performance of the four actors was excellent, and the cast wonderfully balanced. Sam Shepard has been much better served at the Quat’Sous than he was at the Rialto with True West (another title left in English in the French version – it’s getting to be a habit!), which was translated by Robert Toupin and directed by Francis Mankiewicz. In Fool for Love, you can recognise the scriptwriter of Paris, Texas and Zabriskie Point better.

The version of True West referred to was not Roy’s production which took place 7 years later.

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