A woman with blond hair in a leather jacket walks towards us
English-Language Premiere

MOB

Written by Catherine-Anne Toupin
Translation by Chris Campbell
Directed by Andrew Shaver
With Susan Bain, Matthew Kabwe and Adrianne Richards

A brilliant psychological thriller that keeps the audience in suspense to the very end.
NOW EXTENDED – one week added.

March 3 - 29, 2020
90 minutes
Buy Tickets
[…] relentless, dotted with breathtaking reversals […] When it comes to pulling the rug out from under us, Catherine-Anne Toupin is second to none.
breathtaking and overwhelming […] Audiences leave shaken, perplexed, […] and aware
- MAtv
“The new play by Catherine-Anne Toupin is disturbingly topical […] a cry from the heart of an author concerned about the violence that is eating up the modern world.”
Catherine-Anne Toupin continues her exploration of human behavior in a new theatrical thriller.
Wait until the last minutes to see all the pieces of the puzzle fit together

ABOUT THE SHOW

SOPHIE:
When I spoke out against what was happening
that was when the real fun started.

Sophie, a professional with 20 years’ experience in her field, loses her job under questionable circumstances. Confused and hurt, she heads out of town looking for a way to assuage her humiliation and rage, eventually arriving at a quaint B&B run by the matronly Louise and her warm and welcoming nephew, Martin.

After a few well-watered evenings, tongues loosen and a disturbing complicity develops between Martin and Sophie. Was her distraught drive to the country and unexpected arrival at the B&B as random as we think? A brilliant psychological thriller that keeps the audience in suspense to the very end.

 

CONTENT ADVISORY: Mature subject matter and strong language.

Please feel free to call the box office, or ask us in person, if you would like more information

Cast

Susan Bain
Louise
Matthew Kabwe
Martin
Adrianne Richards
Sophie

Centaur Stage Interview

Interview with Playwright Catherine-Anne Toupin by Barbara Ford

If you’re a fan of the popular French prison drama, Unité 9; tuned in to Boomerang for a weekly giggle; caught the play À présent here or its English counterpart, Right Now, in the UK; saw her in the French version of La meute at Théâtre La Licorne; then you know the accomplished Québécoise actor and writer, Catherine-Anne Toupin. The Boomerang star, creator and writing supervisor is a bona fide household name in French Canada, but her fame factor is about to increase with the English language world premiere of MOB.

Centaur Stage: You graduated the Conservatoire d’art dramatique de Montréal in 1999 and now you’re a well-known actor/writer whose work is seen in various languages in many countries. How did that happen?

Catherine-Anne Toupin: After graduating, there’s very little work for a new actor, especially a woman. You’re usually cast as a prostitute or a stripper, so not long after graduating, I and two fellow graduates, Frédéric Blanchette and François Létourneau—now renowned actors, directors and playwrights—founded a theatre company called Théâtre ni plus ni moins. This is when I realized how important it is to have a voice, especially as a woman. I started writing short plays in 2000 and completed my first full length play, L’envie, in 2004. Most of them are suspenseful and very funny but also very disturbing … they sometimes end very badly [wink wink]!

CS: How did MOB make its way to Centaur?

C-A T:  One of the first people I met in the lobby following the 2018 premiere of MOB at La Licorne was Eda. She loved it and said she wanted to bring it to Centaur. It was a beautiful moment to get that kind of enthusiastic feedback from a respected artist. Some of my plays have been done all over the world but never in English Canada, however Eda has really been a champion for this play from the start.

CS: What considerations were important regarding the translation of La meute?

C-AT:  Chris Campbell has been my friend for 14 years. We’ve worked together often and have the same sense of humour. MOB has a lot of dark humour and it was crucial that the translation capture the nuanced language which draws audiences into the story and to characters. I knew Chris would duplicate that delicate comedy-tragedy balance.

CS: As a celebrity, have you ever been threatened or harassed?

C-ST: Not personally but in Unité 9,  when Guylaine Tremblay’s character lashed out violently after three seasons of abuse, the public completely rejected her reaction; she got a lot of hate mail. That made me look at my own writing and I found that I was sometimes writing women as soft and forgiving “victims”. I was angry at myself and that was the key. I had to write about a woman who refuses to be a victim. I’m not saying all women should behave like Sophie, but nothing changes if we don’t. Fiction allows us to see ourselves differently, react differently. Sometimes it gets ugly but we must look, because stories can reveal something we need to understand about ourselves and our world.

CS: What was your writing process?

C-AT: It’s a bit weird. I knew I wanted to play with people’s assumptions about victims and perpetrators. My subconscious pursued me with images of the characters. I saw a man and a woman playing, having fun, until something shifts. By the time I sat down to write, I had a clear arc but I continued to discover more about the characters—like finding missing puzzle pieces—and within a couple of months, I had a first draft.

CS: This could have been an intense two-hander. What purpose does Martin’s aunt serve?

C-AT: Louise represents the public. She’s us, who don’t really know what’s going on. She’s also a buffer so that Sophie feels comfortable staying at the B&B and Louise’s relationship with her nephew lets us see that he’s a sweet guy. We like him and that’s essential to the story.

CS: Do you prefer writing or acting?

C-AT: Acting! That’s why I let the images pursue me for months before I start writing. Acting is more fun, you’re in a group, interacting and helping each other. I write projects that I can act in but that’s just a part one of my self-expression. As a writer, I love having a voice and making an impact, but once the script is written, part two—getting into the rehearsal hall and working with actors and the text—that’s when the fun begins. That’s where I feel most at home.

Creative Team

Directed by Andrew Shaver
Set & Costume Designer: James Lavoie
Lighting Designer: Martin Sirois
Sound Designer: Jesse Ash
Fight Director: Robert Montcalm
Stage Manager: Sarah-Marie Langlois
Assistant Director: Sarah Segal-Lazar
Apprentice Stage Manager: Trevor Barrette

Enrich your Experience

Pre-show Convo

March 5, 2020

This is a rare opportunity to learn about the ever expanding techniques that create mood, amplify emotions, and add depth to a play and its characters. Meet the set, costume, lighting, and sound designers who give the play you’re about to see its breath and heartbeat. Encompassing manifold aspects of visual arts, fashion design, colour […]

A woman with blond hair in a leather jacket walks towards us

Saturday Salon

March 7, 2020

Theatre is about exchange, apropos for a theatre born in the country’s first Stock Exchange. On select Saturday afternoons, join Centaur Artistic and Executive Director, Eda Holmes, and her special guests as they break through the fourth wall to connect theatre lovers with theatre makers. Free and held in the main floor gallery.

Sunday Chat-up

March 8, 2020

March 8 at 12:30 PM. MOB playwright and popular Quebecois actor, producer, playwright and screenwriter, Catherine-Anne Toupin joins Montreal Gazette Editor-in-Chief, Lucinda Chodan, in the main floor gallery. Refreshments will be served courtesy of Bonaparte Restaurant. FREE public event.

Talk-Back

March 19, 2020

Following the performance, you are invited to stay for informal Q&A sessions with the artists. Held in the theatre after select Thursday evening or Sunday matinée presentations. • Thursday March 19 • Sunday March 22

A woman with blond hair in a leather jacket walks towards us