Celebrated playwright Michael Hollingsworth makes a valiant return to the Young Centre for the Performing Arts with Trudeau And the FLQ from April 3 – May 10. Visit www.soulpepper.ca for ticket information.

Trudeau and the FLQ turns on the brutal confrontation between two irreconcilable visions of French Canada: one of Les Canadiens governing Canada from sea to sea; the other of Les Québecois governing la patrie, Quèbec. The play begins in 1963, when Lester Pearson is Prime Minister of Canada and Pierre Trudeau is a law professor and intellectual maverick in Montreal. A worldwide generation of post-colonial post-war babies is coming of age, dropping LSD and marching for peace, or blowing up police stations and killing for independence.

“I detest nationalism. But I have a special loathing for ethnic nationalism.” -Pierre Trudeau

In Quebec, Francophone bosses are joining the ranks of Anglo bosses, the Birth Control Pill is challenging the power of the Church, the ‘Quiet Revolution’ is under way. As the Centenary of Canada’s Confederation approaches, the FLQ turns up the volume, and Trudeau pirouettes to power on a stage lit by bombs.

“I want to kill all the bourgeoisie. Anyone who has more money than I do is the bourgeouisie.” -Maurice, FLQ

Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and the Front de Liberation du Quebec hurtle toward the collision known as the ‘October Crisis’, when the most violent manifestation of Quebec nationalism in Canadian history was answered by the heaviest federal response, the War Measures Act.

“Bend over. We’ll see if you have any manifestoes up there.” -Montreal Policewoman

Wilfrid Laurier defined Canada as a multi-national state that believes in liberty, and ‘Canadian’ as a political nationality not based on ethnic origin or religious background. What Laurier dreamed of, Pierre Trudeau was determined to make a reality.

The History of the Village of the Small Huts includes such shows as: NEW FRANCE DONNACONA, CHAMPLAIN, BREBEUF, FRONTENAC, THE BRITISH PLAINS OF ABRAHAM, PONTIAC, THE LOYALISTS, THE WAR OF 1812
MACKENZIE/PAPINEAU REBELLION • CONFEDERATION • RED RIVER REBELLION
CANADIAN PACIFIC SCANDAL • SASKATCHEWAN REBELLION • LAURIER • THE GREAT WAR
THE LIFE & TIMES OF MACKENZIE KING • WWII • THE COLD WAR • TRUDEAU & THE FLQ
TRUDEAU & THE PQ • THE LIFE & TIMES OF BRIAN MULRONEY

VideoCab’s new production of Trudeau and the FLQ is but one chapter in Michael Hollingsworth’s classic 21- part play-cycle, The History of the Village of the Small Huts, which dramatises the comedy and tragedy of Canada’s story from Chief Donnacona and Jacques Cartier to recent times. Michael’s deeply researched and wildly imagined scripts are matched by the ensemble’s staging technique and visual style.

In Trudeau and the FLQ historic and invented characters appear and disappear like hallucinations. Village virtuosoes Aurora Browne (Maggie Sinclair), Greg Campbell (Charles DeGaulle), Richard Alan Campbell (Rene Levesque), Mac Fyfe (Pierre Trudeau), Jacob James (Maurice of the FLQ), Linda Prystawska (Robert Bourassa) and Michaela Washburn (Pierre Laporte) play seventy-seven characters who embody the era of purple haze and political assassination.

Renowned designers Astrid Janson (Costumes) and Andrew Moro (Set, Lighting) use low-fi materials and exquisite craft to produce spectacular effects. Collaborating in the underpaid and priceless art are: Brad (Shadowland) Harley who makes the scene-setting props, Alice (House of Big Hair) Norton who concocts the unforgettable wigs, and Design Associate Adam Barrett who is putting the video back in VideoCab. Dora-winning designer-in-her-own-right Mel McNeill is stepping up as Associate Designer for her 7th History Play. The whole ball of searingly intelligent amusement is wrapped in the music of art-rock legends Andrew Paterson and Brent Snyder, in a sound design by second-gen’ VideoCabbie Jake Blackwood.

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