The Paradise Arms, by Olivier Sylvestre
[Translated from Olivier Sylvestre's La Beauté du monde, winner of the Prix Gratien-Gélinas, and nominated for the Governor-General's Award for Drama.]
The Paradise Arms was the winner of Safe Words, a national new play competition, in June 2018.
"It’s just an ordinary building, sweetie. An apartment building like every other apartment building on the planet... with a mouth, a heart, a liver, lungs, blood vessels, and a spine. An ordinary building." Olivier Sylvestre's poetic and chilling début play follows its hero through a nightmarish existential crisis in a basement apartment... in a building that seems to be trying to swallow its tenants whole...
This new translation, commissioned by Pi Theatre, was supported by the Glassco Translation Residency in Translation in Tadoussac, Quebec (a project of Playwrights Workshop Montreal). It had a public reading on May 18, 2017 at the PTC Test Kitchen in Vancouver. The director was Keltie Brown Forsyth, and the cast was Conor Wylie, Sarah Roa, France Perras, Nathan Barrett, Todd Thomson, and Nneka Croal.
As a finalist in the Safe Words competition hosted by safeword theatre, it also had a public reading on June 1, 2018 at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto. The director was Eric Benson, and the cast was Scott Emerson Moyle, Amy Keller, Liz Best, Alex Zonjic, M. John Kennedy, and Krystina Bojonowski.
"...Who hasn't ever wanted to just chuck it all? To escape from a seemingly intolerable situation and take time alone, in order to look for oneself, to find oneself? [The Paradise Arms] offers no definitive answers about the search for identity and the absolute, but, thanks to intelligent and thoughtful writing, it does manage to portray the abyss that can engulf us when we question everything."
"For its lyricism, versatility and commitment to artistic risk and innovation." – Jury citation, Safewords New Canadian Play Award
Photos by Eugene Holtz from the world premiere (2015). Produced by Théâtre I.N.K at Théâtre Aux Écuries, Montreal. Directed by Marilyn Perrault. with Benoît Landry as Olivier, Laurence Dauphinais as Marilyne, Marilyn Castonguay as Alexe, and Xavier Malo as Dany.