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Jean et Béatrice
Carole Fréchette
Jean et Béatrice
Normand d'Amour, Marie-France Lambert - Photo : Christian Desrochers
Actes du théâtre n° 15.[ imprimer ]
Béatrice waits silently in her flat on the thirty-third floor of a modern tower block. She has put up posters all over town promising a sizeable reward for the man who can capture her interest, move her and charm her. In that order. A man arrives named Jean who is ready to undergo the three trials. He says: “I’ve come for the reward.” The game begins, unfolding in three segments: fascination, emotion, and seduction. Through the skilfulness of the one and the resistance of the other, and through this consciously contrived situation, a part of their truth gradually emerges, while their desire for love and incommensurable fear of loving become painfully apparent.

“The world of Carole Fréchette is fragile and luminous. Her characters demand and need only one thing – to be able to love. But love is frightening, it makes you dizzy and paralyses you. To be able to love, they must reinvent it and shape it according to their own hearts.”
Mauricio Garcia Lozano

Opened at the Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui, Montreal, 12 March 2002. Spanish-language production opening in Mexico City on 12 August 2002.
Director: Mauricio Garcia Lozano. Assistant: Jean Bélanger.
Sets: Raymond-Marius Boucher. Costumes: François Saint-Aubin.
Lighting: Étienne Boucher. Music: Serge Acuri and Luc Aubry.
Cast: Marie-France Lambert, Normand D’Amour.
Spanish translation by Mauricio Garcia Lozano.

Characters : 1 women - 1 men -
Éditions Leméac/Actes Sud – Papiers. -

Jean How much is the reward?
Béatrice A big fat cheque, you’ll see.
Jean I’m ready.
Béatrice Just a minute. I’ve got some questions to ask first, for my files. Your name?
Jean Jean.
Béatrice That’s all?
Jean It’s enough.
Béatrice Age?
Jean Write unknown.
Béatrice What do you mean ‘unknown’?
Jean I can never remember my age.
Béatrice You must have some idea.
Jean Young enough to walk up thirty-three stories. Old enough to be out of breath.
Béatrice All right. Marital status.
Jean Alone.
Béatrice What do you mean, alone?
Jean Alone in my two-and-a-half-room flat, in my bedroom, in my bed, in my belly, in my head, in my guts.
Béatrice Fine. Alone. Love?
Jean What do you mean, love?
Béatrice How many loves in your life? Since the beginning I mean.
Jean I don’t get the question.
Béatrice It’s quite simple. How many loves?
Jean Write doesn’t know.
Béatrice Doesn’t know?
Jean Doesn’t know what the word love contains exactly.
Béatrice “An aptitude for desiring good things for a human entity and for being devoted to her.”
Jean Write doesn’t know if love can be counted by volume, weight or units; doesn’t know what desiring good things for a human entity means; doesn’t know how many loves in his life. Cannot answer this question.
Béatrice As you like. Occupation?
Jean Hunter.
Béatrice Really? You’re my first hunter. Until now I’ve had a Swedish masseur, a philosophy professor who wrote a thesis on seduction called The Temptation of the Other, a liquid waste engineer who was totally depressed, a semiologist specialising in burn out, a well-known actor – he played the pea in a mixed salad ad. […] What do you hunt? Rabbits, buffaloes, butterflies?
Jean Bounty.
Béatrice I beg your pardon?
Jean I’m a bounty hunter. I find lost children, stolen objects, jewellery misplaced by rich and wrinkled women. I’ll do anything for a reward.