France Rolland and Amir Sám Nakhjavani in Episode 8 of En Pointe (Photo Credit: Jaclyn Turner)
Audiences in Montreal are in for a treat this summer as the Tableau D’Hôte Theatre company presents its new series of street theatre, a bilingual, socially-distanced production inspired by pandemic life in the neighbourhood of Pointe-St-Charles.
Episode 8 of En Pointe takes us to the homes of two of my favourite contrasting characters in the series: the quirky, outspoken Yvette (France Rolland) and the grounded, introspective Vincent (Amir Sám Nakhjavani). From their separate balconies, the next door neighbours greet and sit down to enjoy a beer and cigarette on an average-non-average pandemic day. As they look out to the streets below them, they reflect on life in the Pointe and how the neighbourhood is no longer what it used to be: disrespectful residents, overpriced homes, one too many bougie dog grooming shops. Même à distance and despite their differences, they find a moment of connection.
France Rolland and Amir Sám Nakhjavani (Photo Credit: Jaclyn Turner)
Mid way through the conversation, Yvette’s phone rings as her daughter Paule (Cat Lemieux) calls in. Paule is upset that no one, not even her own mother, has showed up at the history “party” that she organized for the neighbourhood. Yvette hangs up with guilt and worry for her adult child… someone with “un cœur qui brille plus qu’une étoile filante”, she says of Paule, who has never had a boyfriend or girlfriend, but who is giving to all those around her. “Pointe-St-Charles est son amour.”
Vincent encourages Yvette to do the right thing for Paule, and he takes her from her solitude of age and quarantine to a moment together, apart.
It’s a touching scene, and a simply staged but moving episode (which, by the way, interestingly was the first and only in the series to be presented 100% in french).
The ninth and final play of En Pointe takes us to Paule’s place, in continuation of today’s plot. Find out what happens on the grand finale on Sunday, September 27th at 3:00 pm.
Tableau D’Hôte Theatre’s En Pointe runs for 9 performances from August 6th to September 27th, 2020 across Pointe-Saint-Charles. Free admission. Every show is presented at a different location, revealed on the day of performances. Bring a mask.