“Beef”: in praise of the true guys

«Beef»: éloge du vrai gars

Photo: CathLanglois Photographer
“Beef” seems to turn “us against them” in a binary opposition that may annoy.

The curtain of Beef opens on to an area earthy, boilers trailing here and there among the remains of straw, under a light chicken coop. It is the countryside which, in this first text of the author Dayne Simard, has been selected to stage the codes of masculinity.

Young city-dwellers without cell phone nor a car, newly arrived in the countryside with his dreams of organic farming and self-sufficiency, Michel (Dayne Simard) has everything to detonate. Little manly and loving writing, he has little muscle to enforce ; it is wrong to stereotype men.

But the piece exposes what is expected of a woman, also, who will go through the character of Manon (Nathalie Séguin), bartender of the corner, it was elected as object of lusts. It amourachera box quickly, the newcomer, to the chagrin of the village : how has she been able to choose a man so little… man ?

The piece will play initially on the opposition encountered by the couple, so many opportunities to expose a femininity encagée and masculinity obsolete, made of violence, conceit and impulsiveness. We laugh a time behaviors nostalgic here and there ; a few more aspects of coarse we will, however, in the harbour, as appears a confusion between masculinity and rurality, the latter becoming the target of attacks, sometimes easy.

The small touches

Sometimes, Beef will look and turn ” us against them “, in an opposition too binary which will be able to annoy. The piece will then air of coolness where it is good to type on the same nail.

The second part moves fortunately this cleavage simple, while Michel, perfect and polite, and will take the through its middle. A nice complexity will be day in writing Simard, around the question of authorship in particular. Will watermark the power of stereotypes, the staging of Anne-Marie Olivier playing of this earth who sadly litter the scenery to be imaged on the strength of the medium.

Our emotional investment, however, will remain limited. The blame goes to the characters exposed on the surface. Where the duo of head had the task of keeping the narrative, the second row is harvested the apparitions, the most spectacular : Nancy Bernier is overflowing with excess in the country is infused with testosterone, the eye exorbité, Éliot Laprise exposes his funny-sufficiency of proud-to-arms, while David Bouchard is a laid-back instability in a sort of village idiot new genre.

Beyond this madness encouraging, it remains for us, however, the sense of limited access to the heart of the story, that exemplifies well a romantic encounter quickly settled in the beginning of the piece, as a need for the continuation of this story.

The piece articulates some bearing on what this could mean, be a man, the ideas are sharp. It was a journey strong, coherent and full of mockery, well-conducted, course, lack, nevertheless, a force that would have enabled a greater depth of the characters.


Text : Dayne Simard. Directed by : Anne-Marie Olivier. With Nancy Bernier, David Bouchard, Éliot Laprise, Nathalie Séguin and Dayne Simard. Production The gross crying, First Act, until 9 February.


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