Bénédicte Décary opens up about her long labor

Bénédicte Décary opens up about her long labor
Bénédicte Décary opens up about her long labor

After two cancellations due to the pandemic, the play in which Bénédicte Décary plays the title role has finally seen the light of day! The feminist message of the show makes mothers more aware than ever of the importance of transmitting the values ​​of gender equality and kindness to their children…

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The production was initially planned for the TNM program in 2020. Bénédicte Décary was preparing to play Lysis when, unexpectedly!, the pandemic paralyzed the performing arts. The creation of Alexia Bürger and Fanny Britt, very freely inspired by the ancient Greek classic Lysistrata, by Aristophanes, was announced again in 2022. But the curtain did not rise, the pandemic crisis still taking its toll. As they say: “Never two without three!”… And we add: “The third is the right one!” Bénédicte can finally play this role – a title role, what’s more – and release all the pressure that had been on her for so long! “It was a long labor! We have a very beautiful baby, illustrates the actress. Since it was stopped twice and I heard many people say that they were looking forward to the performance, yes, the pressure was greater than usual.”

Especially since, technically, Lysis is not simple. “It’s a magnificent sight! Technique is important. There were a lot of things to work out until the last minute. There are costume changes… The orchestra needed to tune up.” But the magic is there. “We are very happy with what we managed to create together! There is superb energy between the actors, we are happy to see each other again!”

This show is Lorraine Pintal’s very last production as artistic director of the TNM, as she concludes her long and prolific mandate in this Montreal theater. “When I started my career, Lorraine was there as artistic director. She welcomed me to TNM as a beginner…I feel privileged to be able to be present at this important moment in her life. I find it very moving!”

A necessary reflection

The Lysis of the title is a researcher in a pharmaceutical company that has created a drug… that makes women sick and drives them to suicide! “She came into the business as a bit of a double agent, first to avenge her mother, then to save the women.”

The show carries a feminist voice. “We need to hear this. I recently read that in South Korea, women had to stage an uprising like this! We are far from equality! For example, every time I leave the theater, male companions ask me if I’m okay walking to my car by myself, she notes. All is not well. We need to talk. This theme that we are addressing is necessary!” insists the one who is challenged not only as an actress, but also as a woman. “I am the mother of a daughter, I am completely mobilized, both as a human being and as an actress!” She specifies about the show: “It’s not an accusing play, there’s a lot of love! I hope people come out with hope.”

The mother of Céleste, eight, and Lambert, six, admits to having already started to educate her children about gender equality. “It’s done a lot in sharing, in listening… In relation to my boy, it’s important that he names his emotions… We are very aware and we instill these values ​​in them with a lot of love and in gentleness so that everyone feels heard, listened to, welcomed, guided… in joy!”

A special collaboration

Right now, she needs silence between two performances. “I take care of my voice, I sleep… And I am a mother a little more in my bubble. François (Papineau) and I have a joint schedule. We try, when one is working, to ensure that the other does not work; we try to pass the baton to each other. And there, it’s my boyfriend who takes care of everything! He is with the children. I did the same for him at the start of the year, because François really got involved, he had a lot of projects, and I was there for him. Now it’s his turn.”

If the pandemic delayed Lysis, Bénédicte Décary is drawing positives from this troubled period. “The big break that it forced us to take meant that my boyfriend, the children and I went to live in the countryside. I took an organic market gardening course, we had chickens, we developed all kinds of incredible businesses that we wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise!”

Bénédicte Décarie plays the title role in the play Lysis, currently playing at the TNM in Montreal until June 1st.

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