SACD - Société des Auteurs et Compositeurs Dramatiques
playwright database
News from Abroad
Translation Database
Playwrights Corner
In the Spotlight
New Plays in Print
Actes du théâtre Archives
Actes du théâtre :
Site Map
[ français ]

Playwright database

La Chanson de l'éléphant
Nicolas Billon
La Chanson de l'éléphant
photo : DR
Actes du théâtre n° 70.[ imprimer ]
Dr Lawrence, a renowned psychiatrist, has disappeared from his office. The last person to have seen him is Michael, a patient troubled by a strange obsession with elephants. The director of the hospital decides to question Michael, ignoring the warnings from his head nurse. Michael talks about elephants and opera — hinting at a murder plot. The young patient leads the director into a trap where the stakes are no less than life and death.

‘‘[Nicolas Billon] knows how to build a story and surprise you with every line, and he’s got substance. La Chanson de l’éléphant stands on its own. The fact that this is his first play is incidental.’’
Anne-Marie Cloutier, La Presse

‘‘A standoff behind closed doors that is gradually unlocked, leading to a surprising and moving denouement, La Chanson de l’éléphant is a well-written and well-designed play that has audiences on the edge of their seats.’’
Dominique Lachance, Journal de Montréal

Current Production in Paris:
Opened at the Théâtre du Petit Montparnasse on September 4, 2013.

Director: Bruno Dupuis. Cast: Jean-Baptiste Maunier, Pierre Cassignard, Christine Bonnard.

First English-language production at the Stratford Festival, July 22 – September 26, 2004.
Director: Jim Warren. Cast: Mac Fyfe, Stephen Ouimette, Maria Vacratsis.

First French-language production at the Théâtre d'Aujourd'hui, January 18 – February 12, 2005.
Director: René Richard Cyr. Cast: Vincent-Guillaume Otis, Jean-François Pichette, Jasmine Dubé.

Characters : 1 women - 2 men -
Lemeac -

MICHAEL I know what you’re here about.
GREENBERG Care to enlighten me?
MICHAEL The elephant.
GREENBERG Miss Peterson?
MICHAEL tsk-tsk.
No, I mean the elephant species. Elephant elephants.
GREENBERG I’m afraid I don’t know much about elephants, Michael.
MICHAEL I will enlighten you, then. Elephants form matriarchal societies.
GREENBERG That’s very interesting, Michael, but I’m here—
MICHAEL Elephants are capable of recognizing the bones of their relatives. You knew that, at least?
GREENBERG No, I didn’t. Do you know that Dr Lawrence—
MICHAEL It is also said that elephants can grieve for loved ones. Darwin said that the elephant is the only animal that can shed tears. Other than crocodiles, of course.
GREENBERG Dr Lawrence did not go home yesterday.
MICHAEL They have the longest gestation period of any mammal. Twenty-two months!
GREENBERG In other words, Dr Lawrence seems to be missing.
MICHAEL Can you imagine, twenty-two months! Those lucky bastards.
GREENBERG You’re not listening to me.
MICHAEL Are you listening to me?
GREENBERG I’m talking about something very serious.
GREENBERG You’re talking about elephants.
MICHAEL And you are talking about Dr Lawrence. Two subjects about which you know very little.
GREENBERG I’m not in the mood for games, Michael.
MICHAEL Neither am I.
GREENBERG In that case, let’s talk about Dr Lawrence.
MICHAEL Why? I’m not worried about him. I’m worried about elephants. They’re endangered!
GREENBERG You’re not worried about Dr Lawrence?
MICHAEL No. Elephants, on the other hand...
GREENBERG You understand that he has—
MICHAEL Disappeared? Yes, it’s a big spooky mystery. Do you worry when an elephant disappears?