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Small Talk

Small Talk

By Carole Fréchette
Translated by John Murrell
Subjects: Translations, Women Writers, Quebec Playwrights
Casting: 3 f, 1 m, chorus
Imprint: Playwrights Canada Press
Paperback : 9781770919495, 120 pages, September 2018


  • Winner, Governor General's Literary Award for French Language Drama 2014


“There can be no fullness without emptiness. And there can be no conversation without a void.”

Everyday conversation has always been a challenge for Julie, a lonely and anxious researcher who spends her days bent over a microscope in a basement laboratory. She struggles through lunchtime discussions with co-workers and one-sided exchanges with her withdrawn father and mute stepmother, attempts to understand her aphasic mother, and feels steamrolled in conversations with her game-show host brother and his extravagant girlfriend. At the end of each day, she goes home exhausted and indulges in soliloquies in which she lets go of everything unsaid. She tries self-help videos and a conversation workshop, but nothing can budge her verbal roadblocks. After being humiliated by her brother on live TV, she runs away from her city, her family, her job, and her life. Wandering in the woods, she meets Timothy, who is trying to end his life. Between someone who wants to leave the world and someone who would like to be a part of it, a meaningful conversation begins to take shape.