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Un temps de chien
Brigitte Buc
Un temps de chien
Photo : DR
Actes du théâtre n° 70.[ imprimer ]
Gabrielle is overdoing it on the Valium, knocked back with a slug of Armagnac, and going from one catastrophic love story to the next with a string of handsome heels that end up dumping her.
Loulou doesn’t give a damn about other people and only has love for her son.
As for Hélène, she’s a woman on the verge of imploding who’s trying to put up a Pollyanna front.
The three women, who at first stare at one another in stony silence, end up lending each other a huge hand in order to get through a tough time in their lives, all under the mocking gaze of the café waiter in the grips of a full-scale attack of misogyny.
What started out looking like a totally shitty day turns out to be one of the happiest moments of their lives.

Prejudice, Mistrust, and Other Gracious Ways of Approaching Other People
‘‘We make so many assumptions – usually negative – about our fellow man before getting to know him and often feeling obliged to apologize: I was wrong, this person isn’t anything like what I thought. How stupid of me, I might have waited a bit before forming an opinion.
You have to admit, the problem with prejudices is that they often turn out to be right. The guy with the nasty look really is a nasty guy, and that presumed idiot really didn’t invent lukewarm water. And yet…
The four protagonists in Un Temps de Chien are no exception to the rule. They start by imagining things about each other and only get to know one another afterwards. They have to stay a whole day in the café while the weather rages outside, until their mutual mistrust finally melts and the façade of appearances finally cracks.
Then, and only then, something on the order of friendship - and maybe even love - tries to emerge among the four of them. The only adventure in life that’s really worthwhile – a deep and powerful connection with our fellow man – can begin at last!’’
Author’s Note

Opens January 24, 2014 at the Théâtre Montparnasse.
Director: Jean Bouchaud. Sets: Jean Haas. Lighting: Franck Thévenon. Costumes: Carine Sarfati. Cast: Valérie Lemercier, Pascale Arbillot, Patrick Catalifo, Mélanie Bernier.

Characters : 3 women - 1 men -
L'Avant-Scène Théâtre

Gabrielle has gone over to Hélène to comfort her.
GABRIELLE I think you’re having an allergic reaction, it’s all red and puffy …Come and see.
Loulou goes over and looks at Hélène’s neck.
LOULOU She ate a lot of mustard with her fries. Mustard is dangerous, you can get a Quick edema from it.
GABRIELLE No, Loulou, it’s only quick when you eat too fast.
GABRIELLE No, Loulou, that’s when you eat too many hamburgers.
HÉLÈNE It’s nothing, it’s only psychosomatic. I get hives whenever I talk about my mother, or Australia. It’s nothing, it will go away.
LOULOU It’s weird, isn’t it, that kind of stuff... (She pours her a glass of wine.) Come on, have a drink, Madame Picard.
HÉLÈNE Oh please, call me Hélène. To begin with, Picard is my husband’s name, not mine. I’ve always thought it was such a stupid name.
LOULOU (convincingly) When you’re feeling sad, you’ve got to let your anger out because if you hold it inside you’ll get cancer. And you’re an angry woman, Hélène. Right, Gaby?
GABRIELLE Yeah... Very very angry in fact.
LOULOU Go on, shout it out, Hélène, shout out your cancer... I mean your anger. Your mother’s a real shrew, haven’t you ever told her?
HÉLÈNE No. I just realized it.
LOULOU Well go ahead then, tell her, tell her!
HÉLÈNE Do you think I should?... Mom…You’re not very nice…
LOULOU You’ve got to be tougher than that.
HÉLÈNE Mom, not only aren’t you nice, but you’re also...kind of catty!
LOULOU Go on, get even tougher.
HÉLÈNE Mom... Mom…
GABRIELLE (worried, to Loulou) Are you sure about what you’re doing?
LOULOU Totally, it works nine times out of ten.
GABRIELLE What happens the tenth time? She’s really getting red…
LOULOU It’s coming. (To Gabrielle.) Enough with the negative vibes, you’re stopping her from expressing herself…
HÉLÈNE (getting up, stiffly) Mean, selfish, bitchy Mom …
The Waiter comes over holding their dessert plates. He stops.
LOULOU That’s it, good, keep going honey…
HÉLÈNE Mom… You ruined my life you fat whore!
LE GARÇON (after a beat) There were only two profiteroles left, so I brought a lava cake instead...Is that all right?