The many facets of Catherine-Anne Toupin

Photo: Pedro Ruiz The Duty
If the actress has been quickly associated, in spite of his nature reflected, “an archetype of comedy, the girl a little dippy”, its dramaturgy, it, bears the mark of his childhood love for the black film and its fascination for the universe stretched by Harold Pinter.

Rarely has there been a room surrounded by so many precautions. Before the interview, the press attaché of The pack ensures that I don éventerai no punches in my text. To address some of the issues at the heart of this creation, the world, by Marc Beaupré and The Unicorn, is a territory mined.


“I always write in the form of suspense, mystery, explains Catherine-Anne Toupin. This is what I hang on to the fiction since I was young. “If the radiant actress has been quickly associated, in spite of his nature reflected,” an archetype of comedy, the girl a little dippy “, its dramaturgy, it, bears the mark of his childhood love for film noir (Hitchcock, Otto Preminger) and his fascination for the universe stretched by Harold Pinter.


His writing distills the clues in dribs and drabs so that the viewer discovers little by little the nature of the plot. “And the more it advances, the more it includes, but thanks to the sub-text more than the words. What I love the most is when things go by below. In life, it is very rare that it expresses exactly what it feels like. It is our face, our gestures, or our voices betray us. “For her, theatrical writing, therefore, is to reveal only half of what is going on. “The other 50 %, it is up to the actors and the stage director of the find. “




Catherine-Anne Toupin began very early to write, including drama sketches to his classmates. “It was on stage that I felt the most alive. I was rather shy and the connection we forged with the other craftsmen living this experience is the most beautiful thing in the theatre. “At the Conservatory of dramatic art, encouraged to write by one of her teachers, she created a short film which already contains the foundation of his universe :” murky Relationships, handling… “


His third play, The pack (a title that she has decided not to change, despite the new awareness of the group “identity” of the same name : “it doesn’t belong there, that word there “), took shape during a stay in the United Kingdom. Where his previous, now, was a resounding success (” I have to pinch myself again “), in 2016, in a production directed by, excuse me a bit, the ex-artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, Michael Boyd.


This context has influenced the creation. “Down there, I don’t have a label. I go back to zero. It gives a freedom that is wonderful to go into unexplored areas. “In filling pieces london for several months, the author has also discovered a theatre” more politically engaged than ours “, which aspires to be x-rayed his company.


His new creation is thus a desire to address the recent escalation of violence that she finds in the public space. A real ” punch in the face by moments “, the piece deals with different forms of aggression, including some subtle ways, illustrating their impact on the characters that they become, until they ” lose their humanity “.


Embodying the protagonist, a woman in crisis which results in an innkeeper (Lise Roy) and his nephew unemployed, the actress actual measure the impact of the words aggressive. “It’s been three months that I spent days rehearsing monologues of intense violence and I feel that it affects me. Something falls in the body. It is so easy, when the violence is not physical, what is not important. But to force to be exposed, it is in the process of we change. “


Inspired by its duality (” he is both extremely endearing and has a darker “), the author writes the male role for William Cyr. With his agreement, with delicacy, it used the physics of the portly comedian in order to explore a “scourge”, current : the violence of the discourse on the body, including those morphologies that deviate from social standards. The room will also reverse the usual pattern : “Martin has some colors that one would associate more with a female character : it is in the desire to please and has a deep fragility in him. “


Cyr, and Toupin, who have developed a strong bond during rehearsals, have to play scenes that are disturbing, delicate. “But for me, the theatre is not a safe space. It is a space where it is necessary to explore things disturbing. “


Against conventions


What triggered the writing of this closed chez Catherine-Anne Toupin, it is the negative reaction of the public before the wrath of Marie Lamontagne in Unit 9. The expression of a malaise in front of the representation of a violent woman, who refuses, finally, the status of victim, ” leave revenge “. “What is dangerous with the fiction, it is that strength to tell the same stories, one comes to believe them, to integrate them. “The playwright welcomes many of the pieces seen last fall, the heroine” imperfect, not having the fear of beings that are vulgar, violent “.

It has been three months that I spent days rehearsing monologues of intense violence, and I feel that it affects me. Something falls in the body.
Catherine-Anne toupin

There is still a “teen rebel” in it. “I spent a lot of time with a grandmother who cared about the label. “Especially for the girls, invited to” behave “. “From my very young age I had an aversion to propriety. And this vision of gendered life. “It is this’ rejection of convention, “she shared with the Shandy of the television series prison — the role” the closest to who I am ” — dependence in the least. A character that offered him, from one day to the next day, the media exposure. With his retinue of great opportunities. And sometimes destabilizing for an artist, often in its bubble mental. “In the street, I like to observe people because it inspires me. And then you realize that you are observed more that what you can observe… “


The co-creator and star of the comedy Boomerang is but considered first and foremost as an actress, and prioritize this career. She regrets the classics she played at the Conservatoire, but since. And formula, even a desire, why not : play the manipulative Iago.


This is another bag that Catherine-Anne Toupin has reported from his passage to London : a desire to be more daring in our distribution directory. “Down there, in Shakespeare, it is unthinkable now that the actresses are picked just with a few female roles poorly developed. And that all of the cast is white. It is com-plè-te-ment is exceeded. Here, it is not rendered there. But we hope to be there soon. And I think that with Iago feminine, Othello becomes a love triangle fascinating. “


The invitation is launched…

Excerpt from ” The pack “, Catherine-Anne Toupin

Take it as an opportunity.
This is an opportunity.
No! No, it is a luxury.
This is the time for you.
A Luxury ?!?
Time to get you back on track.
I don’t need time ! I don’t need to…
All the world dream of having the time.
Everyone dreams of bla, bla, bla
Worse the door is always open. Wide open, of course.
Because we not want that person to think that…
Wide open !
It should be not that we think that we are getting rid of.
That we get rid of the distracting elements, cases problems.
I became a problem.
Faque you get rid. One does the housework.
The great household.
Décâlisse bitch !

As if it was… As if I had anything to me…
Anything !
As if I had…
I have nothing to me…
But it keeps me responsible.
Faque, I have to be responsible for…
But nothing. There’s nothing.
Nothing I can do to…
To stop the storm.
Die bitch. Fuck off.

It would be better for all, if…
OK. OK. It is true, I’m… No, actually, I have to be responsible.
Better if you left.
No, no. It is true. You’re right. I…
I made a mistake. Errors. It is true.
I would never have had to…
Take it as an opportunity.
It is my fault. I have my faults.
We had an agreement. There was an agreement.
It is true, as soon as the first signs, I had to…
Are you going to shut the fuck up !
And this is my error. I had promised. As soon as the first signs…
It’s been how long ?
I had… But it was too much. Too. I…
Criss de conne.
How long ?
I… I couldn’t. I was in the process of…
How long ?
Explode. This is my error. I know. We had an agreement.

Forty-eight hours.
It was forty-eight hours.
Why ?
Why it has started ?
Because I have…
I’ve responded.
We had an agreement.
Yes, it is true. It is true. We had an agreement. I tried to respect it.
I tried to erase myself. Disappear.
I’m going to kill you criss de plotte.
But I thought it was isolated, an isolated case.
I need… to vent.

I’m sorry, but this is unacceptable.
It ? It is unacceptable ?!?
We can not tolerate the blah, blah, blah
I’m sorry, but this is finished.
Finished ?
I have no choice. I have not the bla, bla, bla, the image…
The image ???
The bad publicity.
You need to get you to put my dog.
The discomfort in front of the bla, bla, bla
I am going to stamp in the wall to worse I’ll strangle her, until you are on the edge of losing consciousness.
Our brand image. The survival of the company.
Pis there, I’m going to give you stick.
Bla, bla, bla
Breathing-you ? Breathing-are you still ?
I’m sorry, but this is finished.
Your eyes are almost dead, but not quite. Not yet.
Bla, bla
Because I want you to be aware of all this that I’ll get.
We had an agreement, blah, blah
Look at me. Look at me.
The trust, broken.
Pis you can’t discuss, because I’m stronger than you.
I’m really sorry.
Worse you’ll be begging for more.
Bla, bla
Want more.
Good luck.
Criss bitch.
Pis’t forget… Take it as an opportunity.

The lighting switches abruptly. It is in the morning. Sophie is in the entrance of a country house. She appears disoriented. It has a travel bag in his hands. Martin, a man very large man, mid-thirties, stands in front of it. He speaks for a good time.

The pack

Text by Catherine-Anne Toupin, directed by Marc Beaupré, The Great Unicorn from 16 January to 17 February 2018.