La robe de ma mère

La robe de ma mère

6 years old and older

The story

Two men on the beach. The weather is beautiful, it is hot, the sun is at its highest point and each one is there, because he has a rendez-vous with a lady who…does not arrive. During this unexcepted wait, a dialogue begins between them to pass the time. But, slowly, every day small talk gives way to mysterious connivance. Once polite conversation turns into witty remarks, uneasy silences into smiles of complicity and handshakes into child’s play, we discover that the two men are not the strangers that we might have thought at the beginning.

With a rhythmic and thrifty language, this dialogue, ponctuated by the presence of a singer, unfurls for us in finesse, with little sensitive and evocative touches. With simplicity and humor, the author Serge Marois calls onstage two brothers united by the ethereal memory of a mother whose dress, with an immaterial appearance, modifies itself with time as well as with seasons. Throughout their games and little childhood rituals, Emile and Gaston invite us to go back in time in their mother’s history. In this quest of memories, half way between reality and fantasy, they will unveil their ties, forged within the maternal womb, their twinship.

In this soft and luminous text, the author tears down, with ingenuity, the false pretences of adulthood to expose in bright daylight, the part of childhood always alive in each of us.

Show created on November 16, 2008 at the Centre culturel de Beloeil
A handbook and workshops about the show are available

A word from the author, Serge Marois

For this production, I was inspired by this figurehead of childhood, the Mother, reassuring, mythic, mysterious and sometimes even larger than life. For the first time, I was inspired by my family and my own chilhood memories. Without being nostalgic, I wanted to find an intimate look that could rise above generations and time and on which I could superimpose my concerns as an author.

I chose to present two brothers and their mother. Both brothers have fun reliving their childhood with their mother, playing at romancing their mother’s past, her life before they were born. Through this game, I wanted people to discover little by little the ties that unite these brothers, their likeness and their differences, so that they can slowly unveil their inherent nature to the spectator. I enjoyed writing a story which looks like an emotional thriller, a story that does not always lead us where we expect it and which feeds the doubts on the identity of the characters. I chose to write short phrase dialogues with certain words that go back and forth from one character to the other as an echo to which each adds its note. In the midst of their reunion, the two-voice partition between the brothers is a tribute full of softness and tenderness to this important woman who accompanies us all through our lives, whether she is alive or dead.

About the author

Author, director, co-founder of the Arabesque and founder and artistic director of L’ Arrière Scène since 1976, Serge Marois came to the theater via poetry, dance and visual arts. In forty-one years, Serge Marois created forty two shows for youth as well as adult public. His award-winning productions allowed his company to receive many invitations from foreign countries. His directing work for Pacamambo, by Wajdi Mouawad, was rewarded when he won the “masque pour la production jeune public 2002” awarded by the Académie québécoise du théâtre. He signed off the mise en scène for Sébastien Harrisson’s play Stanislas Walter LeGrand in 2007. Some of his works as an author include Mon ami s’appelle Traguille, Les boîtes, Train de nuit, Côté Cour, Monsieur Léon, Le Jardin des songes and Les Âmes Sœurs. La robe de ma mère is his twenty-seventh dramatic work.

A word from the director, Sylviane Fortuny

The first time I saw ‘’La Robe de ma mère », I was overcome by a very peculiar sensation, something elusive, buried in childhood memories, something appealing that I would call « the lightness of being in my mother’s dresses ». And then, I loved the story of the reunion between two brothers. Through this precise and humorous dialogue, Serge Marois dares to speak of two men who let go of their prudery as two clowns would, to hand us that part of childhood that is the intimacy of the relationship with the mother.
Right away, I imagined the beach with bright colored parasols as small theaters, small circus as shelters for the two brothers replaying the memories, constructing new games and finally recognizing each other.

And the dress ? Obsessing, intangible, present as the air we breathe, she will secretly wrap the third player of this play : the singer. The singer : little angel, smart and sympathetic with her grand airs and her little songs, her voice will echo the two men’s memories and will help them to rewind time.

After welcoming and defending in Quebec the productions that I directed with the company Pour Ainsi Dire, here is a collaboration which goes further yet in the complicity that Serge and I have developed over the years.

About the director

Sylviane Fortuny discovers theater for young audiences in 1986, at the Théâtre de Sartrouville (Heyoka) with Kim Vinter and Bernard Sultan, for whom she works first as a puppet handler and then as a comedian.

In 1994, she meets Philippe Dorin with whom she invents creative writing workshops in which plastic arts hold an important place. Together, they founded the Compagnie Pour Ainsi Dire where she becomes the director and scenic artist for the productions. They produced five creations : Le monde, point à la ligne, 1997 (rerun in 2006), En attendant le Petit Poucet, 1999, Dans ma maison de papier, j’ai des poèmes sur le feu, 2001, Ils se marièrent et eurent beaucoup… in 2004 and L’hiver, quatre chiens mordent mes pieds et mes mains, created in January 2008.

She also directs performances for other companies : Françoise Pillet and Joël da Silva for Émile et Angèle – correspondance, and Joëlle Rouland for L’envolé

Sylviane Fortuny presented the play Ils se marièrent et eurent beaucoup… in April 2007 for L’Arrière Scène and gave workshops in schools located in the Beloeil area.