An ambitious musical theatre performance, at the crossroads between a Berlin cabaret and an exuberant imaginary China.
The ancestral gods are travelling through Szechwan, one of China’s most isolated provinces. They need a place to stay, and they’re looking for a kind soul who will give them shelter. The only person to volunteer is the prostitute Shen Te, and the gods thank her by giving her enough money to open her own tobacco shop. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for the profiteers to show up and start taking advantage of her generosity! To protect her interests, Shen Te disguises herself as her (fictional) male cousin Shui Ta, a skilled negotiator. A journey of discovery to the core of human mediocrity, a parable of exploitation and the need to change the world, Brecht’s La bonne âme du Se-Tchouan reveals glimpses of true goodness, a commodity all too rare in these times of war and crisis. Director Lorraine Pintal is no stranger to Brecht, having previously staged Dans la jungle des villes (In the Jungle of Cities) and Jeanne Dark des abattoirs (Saint Joan of the Stockyards). Anchoring her creative vision in the notion of duality (Shen Te, the generous woman / Shui Ta, the ruthless businessman), Ms. Pintal joins forces with set designer Danièle Lévesque to create a richly textured production where the ambiance of a Berlin cabaret meets the exuberance of modern-day China. On the stages of the TNM and the NAC, a stellar cast of actor–singers—including notably Louise Forestier, France Castel, Jean Maheux and Émile Proulx‑Cloutier—performs Normand Canaq‑Marquis’ adaptation of the text, with musical interludes by composer Philippe Brault.