Vincent-Guillaume Otis celebrates a big comeback on stage with the play The son at the Théâtre du Rideau Vert, but its performance fails to cover up certain weaknesses in this proposal.
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Even without taking into account his brilliant performance, this piece should have been called “The Father” because he is the main character of this work by the French Florian Zeller.
This story is about a brooding teenager who decides to leave his mother’s house to live with his father. The latter has rebuilt his life with a younger spouse who has just had a child.
Vincent-Guillaume Otis, who has been playing in the theater for the first time since 2018, carries this production on his shoulders with a comfortable mixture of impatience, optimism, anger and sadness. He embodies this father trying to cheer up his depressed teenager.
In his first major role since leaving the National Theater School, Émile Ouellette is believable as a frightened young man who cannot explain his pain in life.
Sylvie De Morais-Nogueira embodies the mother, whose role is completely negligible, while Stéphanie Arav embodies the father’s new wife.
This show touches on very timely issues such as the son’s depression and anxiety, and the guilt of the parents trying to help him.
However, it feels like it was written a long time ago because it transports clichés that seem incredible at a time when mental health is no longer seen as something that can be fixed with a pat on the back. .
The clichés are alive and well with this father who is convinced that just with good will this bad stain will dissolve and this helpless and rueful mother. The lack of dialogue on the relevance of consulting a psychologist is incomprehensible for a play that seeks to anchor itself in realism in order to be persuasive.
In addition, René Richard Cyr’s production evacuates the natural with a series of short, almost mechanical scenes and often affected dialogues.
However, some moments are excellent, as the ending proves, but the emotional potential of this piece is marred by a lack of rhythm and spontaneity.
♦ The son will be shown at the Théâtre du Rideau Vert until October 29th.
The son ★★★
- Directed by Rene Richard Cyr.
- With Vincent-Guillaume Otis, Emile Ouellette, Sylvie De Morais-Nogueira and Stephanie Arav.