Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Théâtre DesAssimilés explores domestic violence in Nice Guy

Presented in both English and French this satire/drama explores the perverse effects of domestic abuse, toxic masculinity and misogyny.

Presented in both English and French, Théâtre DesAssimilés explores domestic violence in Nice Guy at this year’s Halifax Fringe Festival.

This show serves as a way for the members of the audience to check in with themselves and see if they’re contributing to this culture of discrediting victims or accepting the manipulative behaviour of the abusers.

We learn more in this Q&A with co-creator Marianne “Disco” Labrie.

Nice Guy plays Neptune Theatre’s Scotiabank Stage from September 2-10. Visit tickethalifax.com for tickets, dates and times.

This interview has been edited.

Tell us about Nice Guy. What can audiences expect?

Nice Guy is a show that explores domestic violence in relation to so-called “nice guys” who manipulate and guilt their victims. The main character, Matt, attempts to deliver a eulogy for his recently deceased father, exploring his relationship with his father and his girlfriend, while a mysterious violinist visits him. The audience can expect a lot of thought-provoking topics to be explored on stage.

What was the inspiration for Nice Guy?

This show started as a post-COVID project at the Fountain School of Performing Arts created by co-writers Olivier Blais and Marianne “Disco” Labrie. We wanted to write about a current topic while considering what theatre would look like after and during COVID. Domestic violence and abuse in the home had been something we heard a lot about during the lockdowns. It was nearly impossible for victims of abuse to escape their situation. From there, we wrote a smaller show for the project and for the Fringe Festival, we took the show, deconstructed it and built it better.

Why this particular show now?

The domestic abuse crisis during COVID was something that we thought was important to bring to light, but we also thought that the whole conversation around abuse isn’t what it should be at this moment. So many victims still don’t get to tell their stories and are mocked or looked over.

What do you hope audiences leave Nice Guy talking about?

We hope the audience leaves this show reflecting on their actions and biases regarding the subject of domestic violence. This show serves as a way for the audience members to check in with themselves and see if they’re contributing to this culture of discrediting victims or accepting the manipulative behaviour of the abusers.

Why should someone come to see Nice Guy?

People should come to see our show to be a part of this conversation we want to start. It is also a wonderful play with incredible local talent and live music that adds to the story. We are presenting this show in French and English, so it is an excellent opportunity to watch some French theatre.

Nice Guy runs at Neptune Theatre’s Scotiabank Stage (1589 Argyle St, Halifax) as part of the 2022 Halifax Fringe Festival. Visit tickethalifax.com for tickets, dates and times.

The Halifax Fringe Festival returns to live in-person performances from September 1 through September 11, with more than 55 productions taking place at venues across the downtown and North End neighbourhoods.

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