“I am William”: to be or not to be

«Je suis William»: être ou ne pas être

Photo: François Godard
The actors Edith Arvisais and Simon Labelle-Ouimet

1577. From the top of its 13 years, William Shakespeare sucks already to become a writer, but he perceives quickly that her twin sister, Margaret, is naturally much more talented than him for the words, the poetry, the literature. However, in this England of yesterday, the girls do not have the right to speech, to reading and even less writing. If they disobey, they are accused of witchcraft and to ensure that a tragic fate.

Of course, William Shakespeare has never actually had a twin sister and his life is a teenager is still today unknown. But, I am William, the author Rébecca Déraspe fantasy sister literary, the strong character (Edith Arvisais) who has a thirst for telling and that William (Simon Labelle-Ouimet), dedicated to the respect, of course, but also a brotherly love unconditional. On stage, the discussions, the fears, the hopes are exchanged first between them, the twins, who hope to find a way to let Margaret tell “to exist, to repair itself and not to reveal himself to the world,” she said.

And then, around them, Renaud Paradis plays of plurality in endorsing in turn — and with a energy and a natural and stunning — the roles of the narrator, present a few times, the loving mother, but subject to this patriarchal society, the father’s adamant that sum to his daughter in silence, the count’s wagging that will make William a star, and, finally, queen Elizabeth 1, never named, but identifiable to this openness, this audacity and this pace as it is recognized. The ease of the three actors, their ability to propel the audience into this England rigid while featuring the hope of a revival with lightness is a great master of theatricality.

The freedom to be

Through this story of brotherhood, Déraspe puts, of course, in light of the inequalities and injustices that have long impeded women. The role of the father, the hardness with which he silenced his daughter — he mentions in an aside that he could beat it, but that would be wicked — is this about signifier of the difficulty of living for those who were more frondeuses and creative. In a scene beautifully understated, Sylvain Scott arrives with a few items, including a candelabra, and a set of light percussion to make sometimes tenderness, sometimes fun, sometimes rage or distress of the characters.

The large place given to the music and singing added much to the suggestiveness of the whole. The piano Benoit Landry, present on stage, mingling with the flute — played by Edith Arvisais —, trumpet — Renaud Paradise, which, my faith, has all the talent and oratory sung of the three actors. Feminism, a theme-bearer of the piece, is thus supported by this staging both classic and bold which reflects the willingness to dare, to denounce social inequality still deeply rooted.

I’m William

Text : Rébecca Déraspe. Directed by : Sylvain Scott. Interpretation : Edith Arvisais, Simon Labelle-Ouimet and Renaud Paradise. Musician on stage : Benoit Landry and Jean-François De Bellefeuille (alternating). A production by Théâtre Le Clou. Presented to the Home Theatre until 3 march. Target audience : 10 to 14 years

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