Barbeau, Jean

Jean Barbeau, dramatist (b at St-Romuald, Qué 10 Feb 1945). One of the most popular and productive playwrights of the 1970s and 1980s, Barbeau is best known for his humorous but sympathetic treatment of Joual, the popular idiom of Québec, in such plays as Manon Lastcall (1972) and Joualez-moi d'amour (1972), the latter a brilliant description arising from Québec's linguistic and cultural dichotomy. Le Chemin de Lacroix (1971), 0-71 (1971) and Ben-Ur (1971) also deal, in less amusing fashion, with the psychological victims of his province's malaise. Beginning in the late 1970s Barbeau's works began to explore broader themes, as in Le Jardin de la maison blanche (1979), a stinging criticism of the materialistic values of contemporary North American society, and L'Abominable Homme des sables (1989). Since 1989 he has been relatively inactive.