Théâtre Excentrique presents Tideline, a Quebecois play, in Sydney in English. The original French title of the play is Littoral. We spoke with Anna Jahjah, director of the theatre company Théâtre Excentrique. Read our interview below.
Anna Jahjah, you’re currently staging what was originally a French-language play named Littoral in English under the name Tideline. Tell us about this play.
It’s the story of Wilfrid, a young man in his thirties who loses his father. He decides to bring his body back to his country of origin to bury him there. He is helped by two friends, the knight Giromelans (one of the knights of the Round Table) and a film director, both from his imagination. When he arrives, he discovers a country ravaged by war and nowhere to bury his father. He sets out on the road to try to find a suitable place for him and meets men and women along the way who will soon become his friends and help him find the shoreline, where he can finally let his father go.
It’s a tragi-comic play with some very funny parts, some very dark parts, and above all, a great deal of poetry and a very intimate reflection on what it’s like to lose a loved one and to mourn.
Will the play be presented in French with English surtitles or will you present it in English?
We are presenting it in English. The play was translated from Quebec by Shelley Tepperman and we use her translation.
This is the second time you have staged this play. You first presented it in 2019. Why did you decide to bring it back?
Ah it was because of COVID! We had to cancel a week before opening night, and being stubborn, we’re doing it again!
Your theatre company is called Théâtre Excentrique. Tell us a little about this company and also about its name.
It’s a company I started with my husband, Gerry Sont, and an actress friend, Kirsty Jordan (who is also in TIDELINE), two years after I moved to Sydney in 2014 to show foreign plays, which weren’t shown much at the time. The rule is to only show plays written in a language other than English, and that we have translated into English or that we use a translation already made.
How many of you are there on stage for Tideline?
How do you find actors/actresses for your plays? How can someone who wants to be involved apply?
I contact a lot of actresses I know and based on their responses, I hold auditions to complete the casting. To apply, just send me an email at [email protected]
Tideline is a play by Lebanese/Canadian Wajdi Mouawad. Why did you choose to mount this play?
I know Wajdi’s work well. When I lived in Paris, I went to see several of his plays and always came away shaken up. That’s the effect I look for when I go to the theatre, so I’ve been thinking about doing one of his plays for a while. Moreover, I am French of Lebanese origin and I also lived in Lebanon during the war, so we have a lot in common.
In a normal year, before COVID, how many plays did Théâtre Excentrique put on each year?
One or two.
Why should people come to see Tideline?
Because there is everything in this piece, and it accurately reflects life: joy, tragedy, absurdity, darkness, sadness, light, poetry.
We thank Anna Jahjah for this interview.
KEY INFO FOR TIDELINE (LITTORAL)
WHAT: Tideline, a play translated from Québécois into English, presented by Théâtre Excentrique
WHEN: from 21 to 23 and from 26 to 29 Octobrer 2022
WHEN: Chippen Street Theatre, Level One, 45 Chippen Street, Chippendale NSW 2008
HOW : Buy your tickets via this link
HOW MUCH: Ticket prices are as follows:
- Full price $40
- Concession $35
- 8 person group ticket $280
Are you familiar with Wajdi Mouawad’s works?
For other events happening this month, check out our What’s on in October