En Pièces Détachées is Michel Tremblay’s look at “The Main” in Montreal. The play concerns Hélène, a waitress who used to work in a bar called the Coconut Inn, but who now works slinging smoked meat in a joint on Papineau Street. She is married to Henri, who sits around all day watching Captain Cartoons on television. They live in a tenement in the East End with their daughter, Francine, and Hélène’s mother, Robertine. During the course of the play, Hélène’s retarded brother, Claude, who has been “sent away” and who wears “sunglasses and speaks English” as his passport to the world, runs away from the brothers at the sanitorium and returns home for a little visit.
En Pièces Détachées was first performed in Montreal in 1969. It was broadcast over French language CBC-TV in 1971 and 1972, drawing the largest audience in Quebec for a televised dramatization of a play.
Cast of four women and two men.
“Tremblay courageously insists on the relevance and dilemma of neo-colonial French Canada” — Books in Canada
One of the most produced and the most prominent playwrights in the history of Canadian theatre, Michel Tremblay has received countless prestigious honours and accolades. His dramatic, literary and autobiographical works have long enjoyed remarkable international popularity, including translations of his plays that have achieved huge success in Europe, the Americas and the Middle East.
Awards and Recognition*
Prix du Grand (2009) La Traversée de la ville (Leméac Editeur Inc.)
Blue Metropolis International Literary Grand Prix (2006)
Globe and Mail Top 100 Books (2003) Birth of a Bookworm
Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play (2000) For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again
Chalmers Awards (1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1978, 1986, 1989, 2000)
Governor General’s Performing Arts Award (1999)
Molson Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts (1994)
Louis-Hémon Prize (1994)
Montreal Book Fair Grand Public Prize (1994)
Banff Centre National Award (1992)
Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters of France (1991)
Chevalier of the Order of Quebec (1990)
San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Festival Long-Standing Public Service Award (1989)
CBC Anik Prize (1988)
Athanase-David Lifetime Achievement Prize (1988)
Quebec-Paris Prize (1985)
Chevalier of Arts and Letters of France (1984).