© 2016 by amateurfrenchtheatre.org. Last updated 05/14/19. Proudly created with Wix.com

Genre:

# of characters:  

Playing time:   

Sets/Props:   

 

​​​​​​

Costumes:

Murder Mystery / Soap Opera

10 (8 w / 2 m)*

Approx. 1 hour 30 minutes

Bourgeois living room. Sofa, coffee table, armchair(s), wheel chair, fireplace.

 

Late 1950s / early 1960s, but can be earlier or later.

 

* Adaptable. Although 8 principal characters are women, can be played by male actors. Two frame narrative characters can be men or women.

Synopsis

A young man meets a reporter in a London pub on the anniversary of a sensational criminal case. He is the son of one of the eight original suspects, the recently-deceased Suzon, and has come to share her diary containing a detailed account of that fatal day… 1960. Suzon returns  home from school in London to spend the Christmas holidays with her family, among whom her mother, Gaby, her grandmother Mamy, her aunt Augustine, her sister Catherine, the much-loved housekeeper Chanel, and the new maid, Louise. Before Suzon has a chance to see her adored father, Marcel, Louise finds him dead in his bedroom, stabbed in the back. Isolated by the snow and a mysteriously cut phone line, the seven women face the horrifying fact that one among them must be the killer. Suzon takes it upon herself to begin interrogating the others, and ugly family secrets begin to come out. An eighth woman manages to reach the house. Pierrette, the victim’s wayward sister, has been summoned by an anonymous phone call before the line was cut, a woman’s voice announcing her brother had been murdered. Chanel, meanwhile, has witnessed something that leads her to the truth but is silenced by a gunshot before she can reveal it. More family crimes and misdemeanors are revealed until Catherine, an avid fan of detective novels, finally comes forward to “solve” the case. Alas, in so doing, she ends up herself the unwitting catalyst of the tragedy she had only intended to simulate.

 

Robert Thomas’s successful 1960 stage play was freely adapted forty years later into an even more successful film by eclectic director François Ozon, starring Catherine Deneuve (Gaby) and Fanny Ardant (Pierrette), among others. This is a somewhat condensed version, adapting elements from both the original playscript and the screenplay, with the addition of a frame narrative. As original stage play and screenplay are both still protected by copyright, the Comédiens Carolingiens' adaptation is only available to amateur or student troupes for free performance. If interested, contact jeff.persels@gmail.com

Included below, however, are the four music videos filmed and edited for incorporation into the April 2019 production's digital backdrop, using the Ozon film soundtrack, the CD of which is available for purchase online, including via Amazon.

A quoi sert de vivre libre

Pierrette... Jordan SMITH

Charles... Scott ROXBROUGH

Papa t'es plus dans le coup

Catherine... Emilie RAZURI

Suzon... Savannah ROSE

Gaby... Millie ORLANDO

Mon amour, mon ami

Suzon... Savannah ROSE

Catherine... Emilie RAZURI

Pile ou face

Louise... Anna MANCINO

Augustine... Kirk JEBAILY