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THEATRE 377 of such absorbing theatrical interest is Wiesenfeld's virtually infallible ear for the way in which Jack should talk. When his wife, Dorrie, tells Jack that someone from work has called, he spontaneously erupts with the following tribute to his supervisor: 'I'll tell you what he is. He's a goddamn faggot. That's what he is. You know why they made him supervisor ? 'Cause he was such a lousy salesman, that's why. The only orders he could book were from other faggot buyers.' When Dorrie pathetically asks for details about his afternoon with the girl, he can't resist a show of bravado: 'Yeah. She was just like that. She did all that stuff. We did it all over the goddam room. She was great. She was like an animal. She couldn't get enough.' When the prison stenographer asks him to sign the confession, he says: 'Hey, this is kind of like signin' a big contract. Like a goddamn runnin' back or something. Hey, they teach you how to keep a straight face like that in police school, sweetheart? ... Hey! How about a smile?' Unlike the characters in so many recent plays, Jack does not explain himself. He is incapable of doing so. Instead, he betrays himself to us, and that is what gives this play its richness of texture. The faults in Spratt are pardonable in a first play. Does the longsuffering wife really have to develop symptoms of cancer on the very day Jack gets fired? Does the lawyer friend Eddie really have to stay overnight with her while Jack is in jail? Does Jack's one pyrrhic victory really have to be pinned on the fortunes of a racehorse called 'Honeypot'? But these are small reservations which do not detract from the splendid achievement of the central character. Joe Wiesenfeld is described on the book jacket as a native of Winnipeg who is now living in Vancouver and working on a second play. This time his readers and audiences will be assuming talent and expecting excellence; I hope he can keep these new demands at arm's length, where they belong. Theatre GILLES GIRARD L'annee theatrale 1979 au Quebec se joue sur I'air du 'reel' de la courtepointe avec ses juxtapositions de couleurs et ses 'pieces' disparates. S'inscrivant dans une forme stemmatique, aux multiples blocs juxtaposes , cette dramaturgie est rebarbative aux typologies qui seduisent tant la critique dramatique. nfaudra en quelques flashes sur un echantillonnage representatif, la suivre dans son incoherence, ses paradoxes, son eclatement baroque et son beau desordre rimbaldien. Au chapitre des publications, une brochette d'une trentaine de titres, chiffre legerement au-dessus de la moyenne des trois dernieres annees. Des noms connus dans les statistiques de la fecondite: pour Jean Barbeau, quan- titativement une annee faste avec quatre rejetons; Michel Garneau publie deux textes dramatiques et en reedite un troisieme; Jean-Claude Germain et Jean Daigle proposent chacun deux titres. Le Theatre de la maintenance (Lemeac, 103) de Barbeau s'explique d'abord par les conditions de sa genese: commande de la Nouvelle Compagnie Theatrale en 1973 pour initier de jeunes etudiants au theatre. Les remaniements importants apportes a la version de 1979 ne gomment pas pour autant Ie didactisme de ce petit catechisme de theatre OU Ie proselyte tirera des amorces de definition du role du metteur en scene, de la distanciation, de la creation collective jusqu'a la herse, aux licous et frenelles. L'auteur ne sait resister aux appats du calembour, presque immanquablement en rase motte. Cette manie de l'equivoque fait de lui Ie Sacha Guitry des opprimes, l'Oscar Wilde du populo; attitude pouvant etre per~ue comme meprisante si elle n'etait enrubannee de tant de bonnes intentions. Cejeu fonde sur I'equivoque resultant de la similitude de signifiants renvoyant a des signifies heterogenes, nous vaut, par exemple, des 'cerises' et 'cendrillons' pour 'frises' et 'pendrillons' et une 'Maheux-sait-toute' en echo avec Mao Tse-Tung. La piece mene tantoten parallele, tantot en succession, une intrigue arnoureuse et l'utilisation de la fiction comme moyen de pression aupres du patron de cette equipe de travailleurs attachee a...


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