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Les Belles-Soeurs, uniquely Canadian and undeniably hilarious

Often, it’s hard to describe what makes up the Canadian identity. In a country full of so many different cultures, normally people shrug and point towards the closest place to get poutine.

But there’s something about this play, either the distinct Quebecois dialogue or the little bit of O Canada thrown in at the end, that made me love our maple leaf nation even more.

This show is directed by Diane Brown, an MFA student at UBC who recently won an award from the Women’s Caucus of the Playwrighting Guild of Canada. She led an amazing all-woman cast to deliver one of the most enjoyable productions I’ve seen in a while.

Les Belles-Soeurs is an oldie. First premiered in Quebec in the 60s, the two-act play tells the story of a group of women, four of them the titular sisters, and their relationships with each other and the rest of the world. They catch up on daily gossip, squabble about their families, and explore the nuances of what it means to be a woman. All while basically clipping coupons that one of them won in a contest.

As a show, it’s a comedy. How could it not be, when you get a stage full of women cackling up a storm. But throughout the piece you see the struggle of women in every walk of life (or at least the ones around back then in the middle of Montreal). The writing gets you laughing, thinking, and gasping all throughout.

Everything tied together through the astounding direction, the heartfelt acting, and the well timed lighting (never forget the tech crew!), this show is a great way to spend an evening and learn a little more about the women around you and the country that shapes them.

Shows until April 1st, from Wednesday-Saturday at 7:30pm in UBC’s Wood Theatre.

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