Sade troubling

Sade troublant

CRITICAL / customs change. The morality also. As for the Marquis de Sade embodied by Robert Lepage in Quills — submitted to the NAC French Theatre until the 6th of October — it is no longer the reprobate that he was in his lifetime, he remained embastillé almost 27 years of his life.

Scandal embodiment of vice ? Certainely ! The nutcase camped on scene has the hot blood, of course. But if he lets himself be carried away by his imagination, lustful, the ‘monster’ hardly seems dangerous, now that he is captive.

The scene is set in Charenton, the insane asylum, where was imprisoned Sade in 1801.

Sade troublant


Under the modern view of Doug Wright (the author of this text particularly tasty), Robert Lepage and Jean-Pierre Cloutier (who cosigent the staging), Sade returns to the ” Divine Marquis “, whose only great fault was perhaps to have a feather too modern for his time, and a frank-spoken too raw for his wife.

Presented as a lion encagé, dedicated to silence and neuter, the inveterate libertine, appears less as a pornographer denies that as the victim of a time where morality runs on ignorance or barbarism. Wright, Lepage and Cloutier are the author of Justine and the 120 days of Sodom misunderstood, and the embodiment of resistance art in the face of dogmas.

The piece is based on the questioning of the “artifices moral” and the resistance to the ban, while the aristocrat claquemuré, braving the censure and punishment, continued to write after he was deprived of his pen and paper. The character drama away from the real Sade, to pursue its own destiny. A destiny as dramatic, highly symbolic, in step with a society where law and freedom of speech are now sanctified. Hard not to enjoy his tricks, his sharp tongue and his bravery subversive.

Sade troublant


The visual artifice of which Lepage is fond of disappear in favour of a production, almost stripped, in the light of the bold “machinery” that have made the reputation of Ex Machina.

With the exception of an ingenious set of signs-mirrors removable to reconfigure the space envi and neon vertical from where will come the bars of the cage, Lepage has taken a staged quite bare. Besides, he will finish the room naked like a worm… his body reflecting the laid bare “philosophical” free-thinker.

The eroticism of a scene much more bold fact of Quills on a show for a mature audience.

Sade troublant


In this Hell of a prison full of good intentions, confront each other in a verbal sparring juicy the Marquis and the abbe de Coulmier (defended by Pierre-Yves Cardinal subtle), jailer in turn benevolent and horrified.

A dialectic amazing, even troubling, in which virtue, morality, piety, obscenity, discipline, corruption, torment, incitement to crime and the law the fantasy dance in the middle of the insane.

Lepage took the opportunity to question the viewer : what right to judge and chastise ? On what criteria ? Guided by what a monster inside ?

Sade troublant


In the role (too fleeting), the hysterical wife of the marquis, Érika Gagnon is particularly vibrant.

A pity, however, that the first ottawa, Wednesday, was punctuated by ‘whites,’ and of many small errors in text that does not pass unnoticed.


Where : national arts Centre

When : From 3 to 6 October, 19: 30

Information : 1-888-991-2787 ;


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