A Little Vacation (The Impostures of Scapin)

by Angelina Bayindir (Age 14) 

Sometimes funny and other times surprising, the comedy The Impostures of Scapin, taking place at the Maison de la Culture in Gatineau, had me in stitches. It was originally written by Moliere but introduced by writer Jacques Rossi. The story is about two young men Octave, son of Argante, and Leander, son of Geronte, who fall in love with two girls while their fathers are on vacation. Octave marries Hyacinth, a poor but beautiful lady, and Leander marries Zerbinette, a young Egyptian slave. However the fathers have other plans for their sons. Desperate to keep their wives, the sons require the help from Scapin, who has many tricks in his pockets. Scapin takes advantage of the situation and tries to make some profit from it. This production is very effective because of the way the actors portray their characters. You can tell that they believe in their roles which makes the audience believe the story.

Every character has a different way of moving and seeing things. The actors are very talented and while I enjoyed their performances, at a certain point it became difficult to distinguish one of the characters. Specifically, the actor who plays Leander has two roles and sometimes the transitions between were not very clear. At first he is playing the son of a rich man but then he also plays a servant. It was difficult for me to separate these two characters played by the same actor.

The staging is quite nice: when you first enter, the stage has lights arranged in very curious positions. They are coming from both the bottom and the top of the stage and the glow is very calming. The general atmosphere suggests that it is the morning in a garden of a rich family where we can see the sea. Plants, trees and some flowers are growing in jars. It made me feel almost as if I was on a vacation. The lights are constantly changing, indicating the time of day.

For those who would like to escape to the sea side for a short period of time, you can do so by watching the highly comedic production of The Impostures of Scapin right across the river in Gatineau. The lighting and stage decorations will transport you to a world of sun, sand, and sea and the performance will have you forgetting all of your cares in the world!