by Paula Citron.
Des Fraises en Janvier
Théâtre Français de Toronto
Written by Evelyne de la Chenelière
Directed by Jean-Stéphane Roy
Starring Djennie Laguerre, Patricia Marceau, Michel Séguin and Manuel Verreydt
At Berkeley Street Theatre Upstairs until Feb. 24.
English surtitled performances on Feb. 22 and 23
Des Fraises en Janvier by Evelyne de la Chenelière could only come out of the particular French sensibility of fresh innocence and inquiring intellectualism with a dab of preciousness. Director Jean-Stéphane Roy highlights these qualities in his Théâtre Français de Toronto production, aided and abetted by Vikki Anderson’s brilliant set.
Like strawberries in January, love can be unexpected and alluring, and that is the author’s premise as she follows four interlocking lives who are each on their own romantic quest. There is a surrealism about the play as the characters announce flashback scenes and state stage directions at key moments. By breaking down this wall of reality, the playwright allows the director to create a magic universe where these quirky people make their home amid truth and lies.
The four young actors are charming and the droll dialogue is absolutely delicious.
Des Fraises en Janvier continues at Berkeley Street Theatre Upstairs until Feb. 24 with English surtitles on Feb. 22 and 23.
Photo credit: Nir Bareket
(Patricia Marceau as Sophie and Michel Séguin as François)