Beyond the stage and into the back
by Rebecca Ugolini
From the moment audience members enter Espace Libre’s performance space for a showing of the Nous Sommes Içi collective’s celebrated piece Changing Room, they know they aren’t in for just another night at the theatre.
Hostesses are carrying trays of a blue-coloured, sweet-sour shot called Androgyne back and forth from the theatre’s well-stocked bar. Tables and chairs are arranged around the stage mimic a show club set-up, and a red-velvet-curtained stage complete with elaborate runway stands awaiting its performers. As soon as the lights dim and the disco ball starts spinning, Délice (Anne-Marie Coté) a big-haired, foul-mouthed, instantly-lovable drag queen hostess appears on stage and welcomes the audience to a night of cabaret numbers, laughs, and heart-to-hearts.