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Three decades of success for Michel Tremblay

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.

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Thirty years after his groundbreaking Les Belles-soeurs debuted on stage, Michel Tremblay has written another hit play. For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again is described as a "theatrical love poem from the playwright to his mother." Tremblay wrote the play in memory of his mother whom he credits for inspiring his imagination. In this CBC Radio clip, Tremblay tells Eleanor Wachtel that it was his mother's sense of drama that influenced him to be a writer.

Tremblay admits that the success of his latest play comes as a relief. Two and a half years ago a critic had written that Tremblay was finished because no playwright should be writing after 20 years. For Tremblay, the success of For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again is vindication. "It is so nice after 30 years to be there and still be kicking high," says Tremblay.
For the Pleasure of Seeing Her Again is the English translated title of Encore une fois, si vous permettez. The play is essentially a conversation between a mother and her son. It is Tremblay's homage to his mother, who nurtured his love of the arts.
• In 1990, Michel Tremblay was chosen to write a special message as part of World Theatre Day, an annual event celebrated in 90 countries. It was the first time the honour went to a Canadian.
Medium: Radio
Program: The Arts Today
Broadcast Date: March 27, 2000
Guest(s): Michel Tremblay
Host: Eleanor Wachtel
Duration: 14:41

Last updated: March 12, 2012

Page consulted on September 10, 2014

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