Newsroomthe play, which Jean Duceppe Theater presents until October 7, is a perfect example of ambiguity.
Adapted especially from the famous Sidney Lumet film Networkfilmed from a screenplay by Paddy Chayefsky and released in 1976. Newsroom, which was first performed at the Théâtre Le Trident in Quebec in the middle of the pandemic, has generated a lot of talk since it was presented on the Montreal stage. There is something there! Television does not leave middle-aged people indifferent, and the play deals with infotainment and ratings, two perennial topics of debate among television commentators.
The television news presented in the show has never been used in Quebec. On TVA and LCN, Radio Canada and RDI, the news has never turned into spectacle, entertainment or manipulation. Like, for example, on the American channel Fox News. I don’t know how the undisputed star of the series, Denis Bernard, could claim that after seeing it “viewers will not open the TV like the day before”. The information provided by our televisions never remotely resembled the news from UBS, the fictional movie network. Network.
These are the social media influencers and stars who today resemble Howard Beale, the TV host. Newsroom. The youngest audience members who attend the performance in Duceppe and chorus repeat the phrase that their Denis Bernard (playing Howard Beale) “I’m sick and tired of being made a fool of” understand- They are being manipulated. because they are being manipulated by the big names of social networks?
Adapted by Marie-Josée Bastien and David Laurin Network skillfully They indulged in certain anachronisms (for example, mobile phones that didn’t exist in 1976) with the apparent aim of updating the work, thereby emphasizing its ambiguity. It’s a shame they didn’t find a way to connect with social media, which I felt was essential. Much more than television, social networks have become real vectors of misinformation and manipulation in the modern world. At home as elsewhere.
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That being said, is it worth checking out? Newsroom? Yes! You even have to run there. Rarely do we see a stage as out of proportion as Chez Duceppe so well occupied. It is even rarer to see a performance that requires such a large cast. There are 12 of them on stage, and sometimes it feels like there are twice as many. Such is Marie-Josée Bastien, an actress and playwright from Quebec whose fame continues to grow, and for good reason. The show is a little long, but we will not disturb Mi Bastien a dozen minutes too long.
Am I the only one who left the room feeling a bit nostalgic? Nostalgia for the times when television seemed to be the best medium of information capable of creating an authentic, fair and unbiased view of the world. With Newsroom, I noticed how much my attitude towards television has changed. She no longer has the power that lent her Network – and which I lent him – fifty years ago.
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