The Shoe by David Paquet
(Translation of Le Soulier)
Melanie’s son Benoit, age 8, has a pain that won’t go away, so she takes him to the dentist. Naturally, this results in an epic meltdown. You see, with Benoit, nothing is ever simple. The proof: once in the dentist’s chair, Benoit turns out to have a lot more than cavities inside his mouth… In the end, Melanie – with the help of a kindly alcoholic receptionist, and a dentist who prefers plants to people – must face the fact that her son’s problems are much larger than a simple toothache. Le Soulier is a bipolar comedy, a hilarious and unsettling play in which empathy triumphs over illness.
This translation of a new play by the Governor-General’s Award-winning writer David Paquet was commissioned by Vancouver’s Théâtre la Seizième to accompany their world première of Paquet’s original play Le Soulier. This production has been nominated for 8 Jessie Awards of which it won 4, including Best New Play. The Cherry Arts will present the world premiere of The Shoe in September 2019 in Ithaca, NY.
Cast size: 2F/2M
”For a play that dares to broach the delicate matter of mental health, Le Soulier is remarkably funny, and consistently elicits laughter in every scene. From movement-based comedy, like Siméon’s attempts at Zumba, to the unabashed candour of Hélène, who goads Mélanie to explore a repressed sensuality, there is a lightness that stays faithful to the work. Nonetheless, to borrow from Siméon’s sobriquet for Benoit, it is also a kind of “Kinder Surprise”: you may come for the comedy, but stay for its lucid observations.” –– The Georgia Straight
“Fresh, original and off-the-wall… does what all good theatre should do: it engages the imagination.” –– Jo Ledingham Reviews
For more information about David Paquet, click here.
A woman is onstage, with a child throwing a fit at her feet.
MELANIE: Meet my son. No, that's not a dance. It's a meltdown. (Benoit does the Hissy Deluxe.) I call this stage the "Hissy Deluxe". Look at the leg movements. Amazing, right? Next up will be the "Epileptic King Kong". In 5,4,3,2,1... (He does the Epileptic King Kong.) I could never get my elbows to do that. (He does the Electric Musical Chair.) Here's my favourite: the "Electric Musical Chair". Which transitions back into the "Hissy Deluxe". My son is having a meltdown because we're seeing the dentist today. (The tantrum intensifies.) See? Even the word (whispers) "dentist" sets him off. He's had a toothache for 3 days now, poor little guy. If I could fix it myself, I would. But I can't... Benoit, are you all right? (He shakes his head.) Benoit, will it be over soon? (He shakes his head.) Benoit, does Mommy have time to sit and read her novel? (He nods. She sits and reads.) Ready, Benoit? (He shakes his head. She checks the time.) Forgive me, but… Dentist! Dentist! Dentist! Dentist! Dentist! (Benoit does the Hissy-Deluxe-Epileptic-King-Kong-Electric-Musical-Chair to the point of exhaustion. He falls asleep. She strokes his hair.) Benoit, dear Benoit. I really hope you don't have cavities.