To succeed a chicken by Fabien Cloutier: “A photo of the problem”

“We understand that I am not the type to protect sensitivities,” says Fabien Cloutier during our interview. Thereupon, difficult to contradict. Parts such as Billy , Scostown or Cranbourne revealed a taste for brewing the cage that was not denied in his first humor show. And it is definitely not with To succeed a chicken that the author will lie his reputation.

“I made the piece I wanted to do, slice Cloutier at the end of the line. It scares some people. It is not comfortable or comfortable. It is not all my work that is like that, but I think that from time to time it takes one. I did not think I was going to make the room the least comfortable. But at one point you’re writing, and that’s the one that’s coming. You let her go. ”

We joined Fabien Cloutier a few weeks ago, while his humor show, Assume , brought him on the roads of Lac Saint-Jean. Between the screen and the stage (it was given last week a Silver Ticket highlighting 25 000 tickets sold), the original Beauceron, who spent several years in the capital, does not idle these days. “I have about fifty shows scheduled this year,” he notes. And I try to keep myself from the blocks for shooting and all that … ”

Two projects bring him back to Quebec City these days. First of all, his chronicles on regionalisms, which are transposed on the stage of the House of Literature Wednesday and Thursday. Then this show, To succeed a chicken , of which he signs the text and the staging, which will not come too far from where his original idea sprouted by settling at the Periscope on March 14.

In this play, which earned him a Governor General’s award, Cloutier graphically depicts characters “who have talent to get into trouble”. Carl and Steven (Guillaume Cyr and Hubert Proulx) live between the pickup of metal in garbage cans and an absurd oyster-selling project. They live in small tricks that they execute for the owner of a shopping center (Denis Bernard), who Exploits them shamelessly. Without being humorless, the portrait is pitiless, whereas from bad decision to bad decision, the characters imagined by Cloutier aspire to better, but only succeed in sinking deeper.

“When I was in Quebec, I lived not far from AIM, so I saw the middle of the metal collectors,” explains Fabien Cloutier. There is a fauna, a territory, a kind of life … For some, it becomes a real business . But there are others for whom it is perhaps a way to be able to eat at the end of the week. This fauna, it disturbed me to look at her. It was to look at people who are caught up with not much else. That’s what touched me in the first place. I was going completely away, I had been writing for a while. And I realized that I was coming out of my office to watch the guys who were rummaging through my garbage … ”

“Racism uninhibited”

True to his habit, Fabien Cloutier does not address the ears too prudes when it comes time to portray the ignorance, the complexes or the restricted horizons of his characters. “There’s a portrait, and that’s what I do at the theater,” he says. I do not put on the scene people who are discussing a problem. I take a picture of the problem. “The dialogues of To succeed a chicken do not make in the lace and to take again the title of his show of humor, Fabien Cloutier assumes.

“There are people who refuse that language in the theater,” he believes. They will never be able to love a room in which he says things like that. It’s correct. There are others who do not like the language, but are able to say to themselves: “It exists, it strikes me, but I am still able to let myself be touched.” There are plenty of different spectators. My popularity, and I say it very humbly, makes that there are all kinds of people in my rooms. Whether it’s in my theater shows or in my humor show. I like it like that. ”

Fabien Cloutier admitted, however, that the “unbridled racism” of one of his characters might have a different meaning a few weeks after the murderous attack at the Center culture Islamique de Quebec.

“The play was created in 2014,” he recalls. It is as if at that time there was something shocking in hearing this racism completely liberated. But here, the racism uninhibited, he was murderer. The society in which the piece arrives today is no longer the same. It will resonate otherwise. We understand that I am not the kind to protect sensitivities. But without falling into censorship, I wonder if by repeating the rehearsals, some things will require a fingering … Sometimes it is a matter of a word or two. It requires a kind of fine tuning. It is as if the unbridled racism that growls in To succeed a chicken , we have seen how far it can go … ”

The dates of the Assume tour are online at

Want to go there?
What : To Succeed a Chicken
When : March 14 to 25
Where : Périscope
Tickets : $ 22 until March 13, $ 35 afterwards
Info :

The regionalisms on stage
Born in the form of chronicles on the radio show Plus we are crazy, the more we read! , Then printed in the collection Trouve-toi une vie , texts by Fabien Cloutier on regionalism find a third life on Wednesday and Thursday (sold out) at the House of Literature, while they will be illustrated live by the artists BD of The Bubble Shop. Djief, Paul Bordeleau and Richard Vallerand were thus given carte blanche to put in images the colorful expressions compiled by Fabien Cloutier throughout Quebec. “I said: let’s go , have fun! Says the author. I like to be surprised. I will be there to read the texts, but I put myself at the service of their universe much more than they put themselves at the service of mine. “For Fabien Cloutier, the exploration of the regionalisms has been rich, so he plans to renew it before long. “I want to rework a book on it,” says the one who finds something to laugh at, but also a lot of emotion. “People talk about their part of the country, their father or mother who said that,” he says. They have a very personal attachment to certain expressions that end up telling them much more than many words in the dictionary … “


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