In Belle Moral: A Natural History, we are steeped in a world on the cusp between magic and art, and science and madness.
Set in 1899 just outside Edinburgh, the play unfolds in the venerable estate known as Belle Moral, home to Pearl MacIsaac, an avid amateur paleontologist and proud “new woman”; her maiden Aunt Flora, a sweetly maternal figure who nonetheless keeps an iron-grip on her set of keys; and a staff of quirky household retainers who seem to know more than they are willing say. As Pearl steels herself for the reading of her late father’s will and the inevitable arrival of her wayward younger brother, Victor, she also does her best to dismiss the sinister signs that her home may house another occupant…one whose existence her aunt and the good Doctor Reid seem determined to keep secret.
This dark yet redemptive gothic comedy is a story both of family secrets that come to life, and the birth pangs of the modern era--but above all, it is truly a play of morals. Reaching out in two directions to reconcile the extremes of rationalism and romanticism, Belle Moral embraces a complex range of thought with Ann-Marie MacDonald’s incisive insight and trademark wit.
* * * * * * * * * *
Copyright © 2005 A. M. MacDonald Holdings Inc.
CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that BELLE MORAL is subject to a royalty. It is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and all British Commonwealth countries, and of all countries covered by the International Copyright Union, the Pan-American Copyright Convention, and the Universal Copyright Convention. All performance rights, including professional, amateur, motion picture, recitation, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, video or sound taping, all other forms of mechanical or electronic reproduction, such as information storage and retrieval systems and photocopying, and rights of translation into foreign languages, are strictly reserved.
Inquiries concerning the performance rights should be directed as follows:
Lorraine Wells and Company Talent Management Inc., 10 St. Mary Street, Suite 320, Toronto, Ontario M4Y 1P9, (416) 413-1676 / fax (416) 413-1680.
About Ann-Marie Macdonald
Ann-Marie MacDonald is an author, actor, playwright and broadcaster. She trained as an actor at the National Theatre School of Canada and has appeared in numerous independent Canadian films. She earned a Genie nomination for her role in I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing, and won a Gemini Award for Where the Spirit Lives. She has performed in theatres across Canada, recently appearing in the Mirvish Production of Top Girls.
Her first solo-authored play, Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) won the Chalmers Award, the Governor General’s Award, and the Canadian Authors’ Association Award. Her other works for the stage include the libretto for the chamber opera Nigredo Hotel, book and lyrics for the musical Anything that Moves (which garnered several Dora Awards, including Outstanding New Musical), and Belle Moral: A Natural History.
Ann-Marie’s first novel, Fall on Your Knees (1996), was a critically acclaimed international bestseller. It won the Commonwealth Prize, was short-listed for the Giller Prize, and won the People’s Choice Award and the Canadian Booksellers Association Libris Award for Fiction Book of the Year. In 2002 it became an Oprah’s Book Club selection. It has been translated into 19 languages. Her second novel, The Way the Crow Flies (2003), was an international bestseller, a finalist for the Giller Prize, and a Good Morning America Book Club pick. It has been translated into 13 languages.
Her much anticipated new novel, ADULT ONSET, will be published on October 4, 2014.
Ann-Marie is presently host and narrator of CBC’s Doc Zone. She lives in Toronto with her partner and their two children.
“An extremely intelligent and erudite play that mixes the comic and gothic stylistically, with the scientific and political thematically.” The Globe and Mail
"Bright and satiric.... Few other writers are so good at telling a story while arguing an intellectual point." NOW (Toronto)
"The most significant aspect of Belle Moral is the profound contribution of women to society, even if their place is constantly circumscribed and compromised." Canadian Literature