Haunted house

Maison hantée

Photo: Maxime Côté
The show immersive sets the scene of contemporary young people, Cindy and Carl, who are fascinated by the heroes of Cocteau.

After exploring several spaces in situ, Genevieve L. Blais is back at it. The family home of the stage director in Côte-des-Neiges lends itself to a course of ambulatory pushed to small groups of spectators. A project ambitious enough for this type of intimate experience.

Somnambules is inspired, with a lot of freedom, of the enfants terribles of Jean Cocteau.

In the novel of 1929, the creator seems to have mostly kept the spirit and the premise : the more open relationship, possessive between a brother and a sister, and the dynamic of the Game that binds them, already a kind of theatre in itself. The show immersive sets the scene of contemporary young people, Cindy and Carl, who are fascinated by the heroes of Cocteau. Led most often by the voluntary young girl, they play to be Elizabeth and Paul, are projected in these figures larger than themselves, engaging in rituals, games sometimes limits.

Genevieve L. Blais trace a route that stretched over three eras, in which narrative elements are echoed at various ages. We see Cindy and Carl move from the innocence of childhood to adolescence, where their games take a turn more dramatic, and then find themselves, as adults, after years of separation. There are also, complicating a narrative that is not necessarily clear, species of incarnations of older, very theatrical in their appearance, of Paul and Elizabeth (played by Marie Cantin and Alain Fournier), which emerge sometimes, unexpectedly, the decor.

This crossing of the real by the imagination is therefore also a journey, not always linear, of the time. These transitions between characters of different ages end up giving more depth to the story. The place becomes sort of a house haunted by the memories of the protagonists, by the echoes of what took place. We must abandon ourselves to a kind of logic of a dream.

The strength of the work of Genevieve L. Blais lodge in its operation, and real environments. And sleep-walker is no exception to the rule. The immersive experience appeals to. To direct his route into the house without breaking the illusion fictional, the public, forced to be vigilant, initially receives a setpoint ingenious : follow the novel, no matter what your character has in hand.

From the garage to the floor, the home offers as well as a genuine field of play. The magnitude of the transformation of certain pieces, dressed by the designer Fruzsina Lanyi, impresses. Those playing the final scenes are particularly successful, as they also benefit from video projections designed by Sylvio Arriola, which help to plunge us into an oniric atmosphere. Somnambules thus exerts an upward progressive.


Write, collage, and directed by : Geneviève L. Blais. Theatre to lost body. With Marie Cantin, Sylvie De Morais, Alain Fournier, Étienne Pilon, and, in alternation, Louka Amadeo Bélanger, Zackary Villeneuve, Alex-Loved Martel, Rose Longchamps, Edelweiss Moutier, Marie-Maxim Landry, Marek Cauchy-Vaillancourt, Brendon Tremblay. In a house in the neighborhood of Côte-des-Neiges, until 29 march.