In 1952, a group of prisoners led by Simon confine a bishop named Bilodeau, performing a play for him, thereby relating a series of events that took place forty years earlier, when Simon and Bilodeau were at school together in Roberval, in the Lac St-Jean region.
Much like a trial, the aim of this confinement is to get Bilodeau to admit to a crime he committed, and for which Simon was unjustly condemned, at a time when he was in love with Vallier de Tilly, a young, ruined French aristocrat exiled with his mother to Quebec.
This theatrical mise en abyme—a play within a play—, in which men alone perform both the male and female roles, has captured the public’s imagination the world over with its theatrical qualities and emotional resonance.
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