CBC Digital Archives

Michel Tremblay: 'L'enfant terrible no more'

Michel Tremblay exploded on to the stage in 1968 with his highly acclaimed and controversial play Les Belles-soeurs. His brutally honest portrayal of the Montreal working class revolutionized Quebec theatre. Writing in a street dialect called joual, Tremblay's beautifully flawed characters resonated beyond borders and languages. His works have been translated and performed in more than 20 countries, making him one of Canada's most prolific writers.

Now that the Parti Québécois have been in power for over a year, Michel Tremblay has softened his stance on allowing English productions of his plays in Quebec. But that doesn't mean he has eased his desire for a separate Quebec. He tells CBC's Hana Gartner that bilingualism is "stupid," saying it's ridiculous to expect a housewife in Vancouver to be perfectly fluent in both English and French.

Tremblay argues that the only reasonable solution is for Quebec to separate from Canada. At the time of the interview, the prolific playwright is the midst of a self-imposed break from writing plays, focusing on writing novels, songs and screenplays. 
• "I know what I want in the theatre. I want a real political theatre, but I know that political theatre is dull. I write fables." — Michel Tremblay.
• Michel Tremblay said he wrote the play Bonjour là, Bonjour partly to tell his father that he loved him (1974).
• Tremblay paid a loving tribute to his mother in the play For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again (1998).
• Tremblay said he had a very happy and loving childhood.
Medium: Television
Program: Take 30
Broadcast Date: March 28, 1978
Guest(s): Michel Tremblay
Host: Hana Gartner
Duration: 11:39

Last updated: March 8, 2012

Page consulted on March 31, 2014

All Clips from this Topic

Related Content

The Ice Storm of 1998

Canadians had never before endured a natural disaster like the ice storm of 1998. A difficult ...

Hockey Flight in Canada: extra clips

Canada is a hockey nation, but has had a heck of a time preventing its hockey franchises from ...

René Lévesque's Separatist Fight

In the 1960s, René Lévesque made the prospect of a separate Quebec a reality. A shrewd politic...

Getting the Games: Canada's Olympic Bids, ext...

It might be the most ruthless of all Olympic competitions: the race for the right to host the ...

Antonine Maillet, Acadian Avenger

"I have avenged my ancestors," said author Antonine Maillet in 1979 with the publication of he...

The Stratford Festival: The First 50 Years

The Stratford Festival grew from humble beginnings in a leaky tent into a revered institution....