Posted: Tuesday August 21, 2012
Les Belles Soeurs Revived in Scots Demotic

In 1989, Michael Boyd (then director of the Tron Theatre in Glasgow, now director at the Royal Shakespeare Company) staged his acclaimed British premiere of The Guid Sisters (Les Belles Soeurs) by the great Québécois playwright Michel Tremblay. It has come to be seen as a defining moment in the modern history of Scottish drama.

The play, in which Germaine invites 14 female friends and family round to her modest apartment to help her stick the million trading stamps she has won into books, was translated beautifully by Martin Bowman and the late Bill Findlay. The east-end Montreal vernacular (known as joual, or ‘horse language’) was seamlessly transformed into a Scots, working-class demotic.

Twenty-three years on from that seminal production, Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum and the National Theatre of Scotland are restaging the drama, with a cast led by Kathryn Howden and Karen Dunbar. Excitingly, it will be directed by leading Québécois director Serge Denoncourt, famous for his work with, among others, Tremblay and Cirque du Soleil.

The Guid Sisters runs September 21 – October 13 at the Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh.

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