“Promises, promises”: the monumental monologue of Micheline Bernard
CRITICAL / As we mark Wednesday World Theater Day, Micheline Bernard launched the magisterial celebrations on Tuesday night, at the premiere in Quebec City of the play “Promises, Promises” by the Scottish Douglas Maxwell. The experienced actress is absolutely brilliant in this first solo career, which she will present at La Bordée for two weeks.
A tufted text constructed in parentheses and convolutions; a complex and explosive character that forces his interpreter to constantly turn on a 10 ¢ … The least we can say is that the contract was beefy and that Micheline Bernard fills it brilliantly by measuring himself to this fascinating Miss Brodie .
The play premiered in Glasgow in 2010 and translated here by Maryse Warda takes us to a multicultural primary school in London, where a recently retired teacher after committing a reprehensible act has returned to service. Completely committed to the children, she shows the opposite with regard to the rest of humanity. Indignant, strong in mouth and resolutely ruthless (it is understood in its acid way and often funny to describe its interactions with others), it is at its head.
When we learn that a new student of Somali origin and suffering from selective mutism will have to undergo exorcism in class (believe it or not, Maxwell was inspired by a fact lived …), things will get tough . Because the meeting with this little Rosie will mess up Miss Brodie, who will see her own suffering awakened. Over the course of confidences (or a confession?) Relying on multiple roundtrips, the public discovers little by little the portrait of a woman singularly strong, but also undeniably hurt. A woman who is especially ready for radical actions to defend her beliefs.
In a staging of his cousin Denis Bernard, Micheline Bernard offers a theatrical tete-a-tete as hot as it is striking. Completely invested in this intelligent monologue (we see a little bit come the punch, but hey …) that could be described as sporty, it captivates and forces admiration. Denis Bernard had promised in the interview a “magnificent actress performance”. He had not lied.