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Strawberries in January by Évelyne de la…
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Strawberries in January (2003)

by Évelyne de la Chenelière

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What a fun play to read! Evelyne de la Chenelière has written a delightful entertaining romantic comedy set in Montreal with a 1940's or 1960's atmospheric feel to it. With only four characters the play has a dynamic quality to it as the story includes scenes from the present, the past and the dreamlike fantasies of the characters.

As someone just getting started to enter the world of reading plays as opposed to seeing them being presented, I am so happy that my first one was so readable. It is easy to see how spotlighting could work to shift the audience's attention as the scene shifts and focus moves to a different character. I can also see how this play could be pulled off with a minimum of props and setting. The banter of the characters is fresh and fun and I enjoyed how slowly the audience is brought to understand the relationships of the four characters. On the downside, but a minor one, I did find it a little confusing when the characters would shift from conversing on stage to making an aside for the benefit of the audience as there wasn't always written indications when the shift happened.

At the start there is an interesting comment from the playwright, regarding her thoughts on the play:

"When I am asked to sum up Strawberries in January, I never know where to begin. But what stays with me, when I think about it, is a feeling that happiness is often closer than we think, and less complicated than we claim. I'm also left with human frailty, our need to dream, our fear of not measuring up."

If I haven't sold you on this delightful play, maybe the teaser from the back cover will entice you to track down a copy: If only life could be like the movies! This fizzy concoction takes the classic ingredients of romantic comedy, love, humour, coincidence and fantasy and serves them up with a surprisingly touching twist in this tender and witty comedy by an extraordinary new voice form Quebec. ( )
  lkernagh | Jan 2, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0887547400, Paperback)

If only life could be like the movies! This fizzy concoction takes the classic ingredients of romantic comedy, love, humour, coincidence and fantasy and serves them up with a surprisingly touching twist in this tender and witty comedy by an extraordinary new voice from Quebec.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:47 -0400)

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