By Michel Tremblay
Directed by: Douglas Abel
Performances: February 12-16, 1985
Venue: Hagey Hall 180, Humanities Building
Tremblay depicts his women in Les Belles Soeurs with an astounding objectivity. He is compassionate without sentimentality, hard without cruelty, possessed of an amazing eye for exact detail and a rough but vigorous sense of humour. A 'fantastic' realism is blended with lyrical moments and passages which seem almost classical in effect. The result is a portrayal of the women of east end Montreal which cannot help but have strong universal appeal.
There are certain plays in the history of dramatic literature which are either immediately recognized or are recognized in time as landmarks. One such for Quebec has been Michel Tremblay's Les Belles Soeurs, the first serious written entirely in the language (joual) of the people of east end Montreal. Like any astounding play, Les Belles Soeurs exists on many different levels but in this case, one cannot in any way underestimate the political importance of Tremblay's linguistic message to Quebec, to les Anglais of Canada, and to the world. The dramatic impact of Les Belles Soeurs was felt all across Quebec in the weeks and months after the opening; the echoes have continued to be heard in the years since right across the land.
-Don Rubin, Canadian Theatre Review