Theatre UNB opened its 2014-2015 season on Oct. 29 with an adaptation of the French comedy, Les Belles-Soeurs.
Written by Quebec playwright Michel Tremblay in 1965, this was the first time Theatre UNB took on the play, which was translated to English by Bill Glassco and John van Burek and directed by Len Falkenstein, who is also the director of drama at UNB.
Les Belles-Soeurs, which tells the story of a working class girl in the 1960s, had a cast of 15 female drama students.
In the play, the main character, Germaine (played by Kirsten Stackhouse), wins one million stamps that are redeemable at local grocery stores. While the plot of the play is important — looking at the relationships between characters and giving the performers the opportunity to show their acting skills — it is the themes found throughout the play that resonate. Jealousy, women’s rights, social status and material wealth are all explored in detail.
The entire play is set in Germaine’s kitchen, with the characters sitting around the table. The interesting thing is that there are only a few characters present throughout the play, but through the conversations and arguments that the ladies have, the viewer gets the sense of knowing the whole town. Characters come in and out of the story, some physically and some just by name.
Though the story is oftentimes heavy, the audience seemed to be enjoying themselves and having a good evening. For the approximately two-hour performance, Theatre UNB impressed in all aspects, which was shown at the end by the conversations people were having as they left the performance.
Despite the fact that the play was only running until Nov.1, Les Belles-Soeurs set the season off right for Theatre UNB.