1949, 2016

The Just by Albert Camus, live at the Michael Young Theatre, March 9, 2016

This is a new translation of Les Justes that appears to have been written in light of what’s currently going on in the Middle East.

Though I thought I had read nearly everything Camus published in his lifetime, I don’t remember this play, so I guess I missed it. Like a lot of Camus’ work, it is about the viability of rebellion, the consequences of murder and the problem of living for ideas instead of people. It’s one of those plays that features characters as the mouthpieces for various belief systems, which can be tiring at times, but Camus was on when he wrote this – the fourth act in particular is rather damning – and the staging is excellent – it’s remarkable what good acting and an audio recording can do to create tension. (I suspect it was maybe not so well staged when it was first performed, but I could be wrong.)

The cast was excellent. I had never seen a Soulpepper production before but one of the interest things was that one of the actors had a slight (very, very slight) lisp. It didn’t matter at all but what was impressive is that there is a theatre company out there that is developing actors who may not fit conventional ideas of stage actors, so good for them. Oh, and the lead actor endured an awful lot for his role – including getting water dumped on him – so he is to be commended.


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