PHOTOS: Michael Cooper
ELLE is the story of Marguerite de La Rocque de Roberval, a French noblewoman who set out in 1542 for Canada with her uncle to colonize the new-found world. She finds herself, however, abandoned on the deserted Isle of Demons (off the coast of Newfoundland) as punishment for taking a lover during the voyage. With real bears, spirit bears, and perhaps hallucinated bears, and with the residue of a somewhat lurid religious faith and world of self-preserving belligerence, the voluble heroine of ELLE does more than survive. ELLE brilliantly reinvents the beginnings of this country’s national narrative. In the lead role, Thompson “holds the audience’s attention in a vice grip with her precision, depth and hilarity. Her script is beautifully poetic, and is a master of delivery”. -Mooney on Theatre
Adapted for the stage by Severn Thompson from the Governor General’s Award-winning novel by Douglas Glover
Starring Severn Thompson and Jonathan Fisher
Directed by Christine Brubaker
Cross Canada Tour Jan/Feb 2017: THE OLD TOWN HALL THEATRE, Waterford, Ontario; PRAIRIE THEATRE EXCHANGE, Winnipeg, Manitoba; FIREHALL THEATRE, Vancouver, BC.
"People are like prisms and history is like the light shining through them." Douglas Glover
When Severn Thompson came to me with the beginnings of this remarkable play she was adapting from Douglas Glover’s novel Elle, I fell in love with it. Who wouldn’t? A European aristocrat finds herself abandoned on a rock on the East coast of Canada and miraculously survives for two years before being rescued; a story where extreme and desperate circumstances lead to a radical transformation of a person, a soul, an identity - where everything known and understood is surrendered, stripped away and something completely unpredictable is released. But Glover’s artistic vision goes further than that. He creates a character who is firmly rooted in another time and place, yet still feels current, familiar. He reminds us that history is part of us NOW - that the past and present are not separate, but interpenetrate one another. Our production anchors itself in this notion and my hope is that as contemporary Canadians we see ourselves in this piece and feel the story of our country in a new way.