Jean-Denis Beaudoin: to fight against his inner monster

Jean-Denis Beaudoin: lutter contre son monstre intérieur

Jean-Denis Beaudoin signed the text of the play “Devoured(s)” in addition to interpret a character.

October 26, 2019-4: 00 am


Jean-Denis Beaudoin: to fight against his inner monster

Jean-Denis Beaudoin: lutter contre son monstre intérieur

Geneviève Bouchard

The Sun


Curious to explore the mechanism of fear on stage, author and comedian Jean-Denis Beaudoin offers just in time for Halloween “Devoured(s)”, a piece of “drama horror” rooted in his own fears and exploring both the fear of the other, and the obsession to be present in his gaze.

“In my pieces, the danger is not external to the characters. They are their own dangers,” recalls the author, who admits to himself : he hides himself “a little bit” behind the figures that he describes. “I don’t find it interesting just to talk about the fact that I’ve lived with anxiety. Even if yes, it is important to talk about it and it is the purpose of the show”, avance-t-il over an interview in which he confided that he has undertaken a year of psychoanalysis. It would have been in doubt, as the process had already been started on stage with his first play, My children are not afraid of the dark.

“For [this piece], I had dug in my childhood,” he says. It was the discovery of all this darkness that I wore young and adolescence. It was as if my characters discovered their own darkness. There, it is at a stage that I would call the beginning of my adult life where I knew it was there, but I wanted to get rid of it. So I was fully in the fight. The fight against myself, against my fears.”

Devoured(s) invites us into a Halloween party a bit sinister, in a world where doing the rounds of the neighborhood to collect candy is no longer feasible. Strange beings are lurking nearby, and their presence has forced the closure of schools. Is better to stay encabané in front of the tv, especially that there is money to make if one yields to the set of a reality tv show where participants will have the opportunity to push their limits.

“I found it interesting to think of what would be Halloween in a world where we are afraid of getting out of the house and that the representation of the outside world almost completely by the tv”, illustrates Beaudoin.

At the heart of his narrative, a young man troubled to the point of being paralyzed, his mother ready to do anything to win a game show and a spooky delivery of milk by which the horror will settle in.

“There are several types of anxiety. For me, it was really psychological. Me, I’m hyper lucid in life. When you are aware of it, you extériorises fully and that robs. My central character is firmly dispossessed. He tries to be active, but he is unable to. It was the big challenge of my main character : put it in the center of his disorder that he himself has trouble defining, and eventually express it in a kind of dementia,” says Beaudoin.

“My character of an author is not the one who believes to be the right person,” he adds. It is positioned on the side of people who seek to be better, and who dig in their own anxieties, which are struggling with their own demons and bear a darkness, a form of anxiety. For me, it’s scary. At the same time, I’m evolving as a person. The next chapter, I do not know. Here, I am in acceptance and it is interesting.”

Horror and reality tv
Fond of horror cinema — in particular, he mentioned the film Midsommar Ari Aster, who was recently arrested —, Jean-Denis Beaudoin is also said to be interested in reality tv. From there the game unhealthy that is invited into his new room, which had to be postponed by a season because of renovations to the theatre Periscope.

“I really like the reality”, notes the author, who also interprets a character in Devoured(s). “I understand all that it has of bad, but I am not one of those who say : “I look at it just for laughs”, resumes it. No. I look at it because it fascinates me. I find it beautiful to see humans, regardless of their social rank. I find it fascinating to see how humans interact in the context of a game where everything is magnified.”

He cites the example of’double Occupancy : “This is the big assembly. They are locked to the long day. They don’t do anything else. They do not have the right to have books, they have the right to do anything. They do not have cards, they do not play. They are just caught between them. They get bored. We, what we see, it is just the minute when they get stuck in the day.”

In Devoured(s), Jean-Denis Beaudoin pushes the year away, a question to sow doubt. Who are the real monsters? Those who are ready to everything to be seen on tv or those who revel in it in front of their screen?

Dedicated to viewers aged 16 years and older, the play, directed by Jocelyn Pelletier has scenes of violence that will be supported by the designer of special effects Guillaume Perreault. “This is gore, I tripe less, even if in Devoured(s), are key. To those who will be shocked by the graphic violence, [I say that] it is a show that speaks to the struggle against oneself. For me, it was necessary to push my characters so far. After, yes, I think it’s going to react,” says the one who does not seek to be loved at any price.

“I do theatre to mark the spirits, he adds. Positively or negatively. The term pleasing, that means nothing to me. This is not the goal of my theatre. The goal is that we remember it. To achieve the best common denominator to the theatre, for me, it is a mistake. After, you find your audience over representations and, if you don’t like, it’s still positive, because it makes them feel something. If you hate a show, you’ve experienced something. You are confronted with yourself and your positions…”

The play “Devoured(s)” is presented to the Periscope, from 29 October to 16 November. The representation of 31 October will be followed by a masked ball. The text was published with the editions The same Instant.

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