Over 38 years and more than 3,300 performances, the actors of Broue have manipulated on stage – “without any respect,” said the joke Marc Messier – the bottles of beer and the furniture of the tavern Chez Willy. Entrusted to the Musée de la civilization of Quebec (MCQ), the sets and accessories of the famous play have taken the gallon: it is now necessary to don white gloves to touch these collectibles.
A year after putting the key under the door of the flow of drink that made Quebec laugh for nearly 40 years, the three actors who gave life to Broue throughout his career officially donated 18 costumes , sets and a multitude of accessories (crates of beer to the huge clock through the pot of eggs in the vinegar on the bar!) to the MCQ collection.
Treated with the same care as any artefact worthy of a museum institution, the objects are housed at the National Center for Conservation and Collection Studies. It was necessary to see Marc Messier Thursday to ask a minute of silence before bidding farewell to the jacket of the character of Pyromaniac, carefully packed in acid-free paper before being placed in a drawer by the curator.
“It’s extraordinary as an event. A play, it always dies after the last performance. There, it assures us that it will stay alive, “he observed earlier.
“It’s very touching,” confided Michel Côté. And that takes away a problem because we were wondering what to do with it. Honestly, it would have torn our heart to have to send the decor to recovery, to get rid of clothes, accessories and that disappears … ”
Marcel Gauthier, for his part, was pleased that Broue has become part of the cultural heritage of Quebecers. “We suspected it a bit because the piece still lived and proved,” he said. But it is now preserved in a museum, in optimal conditions, for us, it’s a dream. It’s beyond all our expectations. ”
According to the Director General of the Musée de la civilization, Stéphan La Roche, an exhibition devoted to Broue should be mounted at the MCQ in the summer of 2019. And there is no doubt in his eyes that it will be quite in its place .
“The Museum of Civilization is a museum of society,” he explains. [With Broue ], we come to speak of two phenomena of society. This is the play that has garnered the greatest success in the history of theater in Quebec, worn for 38 years by the same actors, etc. But it also addresses a social issue that is that of taverns, a bygone era when men gathered together in a closed place drinking beer. For a museum that explains the phenomena of society, it is a subject of incredible richness. For us, it was important to preserve that. ”