Vanessa Jones

Vanessa Jones

Women desperate to escape drudgery

NANAIMO - Nanaimo Theatre Group presents Les Belles Soeurs starting Wednesday (April 17) at the Bailey Studio.

A group of 15 women are desperate to escape the poverty of their lives even if it means stepping on each other to do it.

When Germaine wins a million trading stamps she believes it may be her ticket out of desperation and drudgery.

“I’ve won a million stamps. It’s going to get me out of this. It’s my ticket out of this rotten life,” said Sherri McLean, who plays Germaine in Nanaimo Theatre Group’s upcoming production of Les Belles Soeurs.

Germaine’s daughter Linda, played by Vanessa Jones, is trapped between the new upcoming women’s lib movement and tradition. She is drawn to her aunt who is the black sheep of the family.

McLean said it’s been great to work with 14 other actresses onstage.

“It’s women being allowed to have such a voice onstage and such a presence you don’t see very often,” added Jones.

Nanaimo Theatre Group’s production of Les Belles Soeurs premieres at the Bailey studio Wednesday (April 17) at 8 p.m. The play, written by Michel Tremblay, is set prior to the women’s lib movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

At the time it was written as a contemporary play, but now has become a historic piece, said director Robb Mowbray.

“It’s a look at my parent’s generation before this (the women’s lib movement) takes place,” said Mowbray. “Now we look at it more as a signpost in history.”

He said the women are from the lower working class and they are “desperate” to find something better.

Jones said the show has themes of birth, love, and death that are still relevant today, with situations that everyone goes through or is touched by.

Less Belles Soeurs runs Wednesday to Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. April 17 to May 4 with matinees on April 21 and 28 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $16 for Wednesday, Thursday and matinee performances and $18 for Friday and Saturday. Tickets and showtimes are available online at, or by calling 250-758-7224 or e-mailing tickets@nanaim