The Arts

Pleiades Theatre – Antonine Maillet’s La Sagouine

Pleiades Theatre – Antonine Maillet’s La Sagouine featured image

Reviewed by Paula Citron

It is a testament to the legend of actor Viola Léger and Antonine Maillet’s La Sagouine, that the production is playing to packed houses.

The one-woman show about an Acadian cleaning lady first came to Toronto in 1979. Now Léger is back again as the feisty and evergreen La Sagouine. She may be uneducated, but she has the wisdom of the ages, not to mention a salty sense of humour. Every summer, Léger performs various La Sagouine monologues in New Brunswick and attracts legions of adoring fans.

Maillet based her monologues on a real-life scrubwoman in her home town of Bouctouche, a small fishing village in New Brunswick’s L’Acadie. The 16 texts were written originally for radio as a weekly show in 1971. For the Toronto production, the beloved Léger performs five monologues including War for the first time in English.

La Sagouine continues at Berkeley Street Theatre in English until May 29, and in French from May 31 to Jun. 5.

La Sagouine
Pleiades Theatre
Written by Antonine Maillet
Directed by John Van Burek
Starring Viola Léger
Berkeley Street Theatre, May 14 to Jun. 5, 2010

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