It was a revolutionary piece of Canadian theatre at the time of its premiere, and it is still funny, raucous and moving. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of a ground-breaking play and to kick of the 2018 portion of its current season, University Players presents Les Belles Soeurs by Michel Tremblay, translated by John Van Burek and Bill Glassco, February 2 – 11 at the Essex Hall Theatre.

Germaine Lauzon has who won a million gold stamps in a lottery, invites everybody she knows, both neighbours and relatives, to help her stick them onto booklets to claim her prizes. As they work, the women talk about society, religion, each other, and the men in their lives. And while they reveal deeply moving truths, they are robbing Germaine of her precious gold stamps, providing some darkly comedic and hugely entertaining theatre.

Director Lezlie Wade, an accomplished director of shows at the prestigious Stratford and Shaw Festivals, describes the importance of this Canadian classic. “If you have any experience seeing theatre, you’ll notice immediately how it influenced other plays,” says Wade. With the themes it touches upon, she says the dynamic between the women also speak to the complexities of human nature. “It really stresses the importance of relationships that women have with women, and how they can be empowering and how they can be destructive. We can help each other, or we can hinder each other.”

Wednesday to Saturday performances are at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. On Sunday, February 4, a free “Talk Back” discussion with the actors will follow the performance. Essex Hall Theatre is located on the University of Windsor campus on the corner of Wyandotte and Patricia.

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