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The Jennifer Tremblay Trilogy Part 3: The Deliverance

Equity president Maureen Beattie. Photo: Marc Marnie Equity president Maureen Beattie. Photo: Marc Marnie

French Canadian writer Jennifer Tremblay’s epic exploration of the relationships of mothers and daughters that define them both is completed in this monologue that finds the same speaker as the earlier plays coping with her mother’s imminent death.

Her complex feelings toward her mother, explored in the earlier plays, reach a head in the realisation that reconciliation and closure will not occur. The speaker has a half brother who was taken by his father as a child and alienated from the rest of the family, and his mother’s last wish is to see him again. He won’t come, and the speaker realises abruptly that his absence will be the defining fact of her mother’s dying, negating her own presence.

As in the earlier plays, the road to that discovery involves extensive detours into the past, not only her mother’s life but her grandmother’s, and the speaker must find a way to balance sympathy for her mother’s suffering with expression of her own pain.

And as in the other two plays, revived for limited runs alongside this premiere, Maureen Beattie holds the stage with absolute authority and draws us into the woman’s emotional journey through a general underplaying, punctuated sparingly by outbursts of raw anguish.

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Epic trilogy of three generations of women comes to a powerful emotional climax