The French-language play will be brought to Prince Albert by the Saskatoon-based production company Troupe du Jour and the Fransaskois Performing Arts Network (FPAN) on Sunday Feb. 17 at Carrefour School at 1 p.m., with an optional brunch at 11 a.m. For English speakers, there will also be subtitles provided on a screen.
Coffre-fort, meaning a strong-box or a safe takes on a double meaning in this farcical French comedy about a 74-year-old woman who made a deal with God to be laid in her coffre-fort or coffin on her 75th birthday.The story follows 74-year-old Gertrude as she prepares for the important date of her desired death. As she gets closer to her final day on earth she indulges in her favourite pleasures and plans her death and funeral in the most minute of detail, despite her less than understanding friends.
This is however a farcical French comedy and not all goes as planned, said artistic director Denis Rouleau.
“She tried to get organized but things … don’t necessarily happen the way we plan, but some things happen,” Rouleau said and laughed.
The play explores age and the fact that people are getting old and at some point they want to join their loved ones in death. In this case it is an older lady who wants to depart and join her husband and the love of her life, who she lost 30 years ago.
“It’s funny, it’s a farce, it’s light, it’s full of life. We’re talking about death but it’s full of life,” - Denis Rouleau
“She is exploring the idea of death,” said Andrea Denis with FPAN of, the playwright Marie-Claire Marcotte who is Regina-born and Italian-trained actress.
Despite the dourness of death it is high on drama and humour, Denis said.
“It is really silly and kind of over-the-top,” she said.
“We approach that subject in a humouristic way,” he said.
“It’s funny, it’s a farce, it’s light, it’s full of life. We’re talking about death but it’s full of life,” he added.
Over the past 15 years, Troupe du Jour has performed in Prince Albert a handful of times, he said.
Winnipeg-native Alicia Johnston performs Gertrude. The other two actors are Dave Turcotte and Carol Greyeyes, both of whom are from Saskatchewan.
Tickets are $15 per adult and $6 for students or $20 and $10 with brunch. For more information call 306-763-0337.