Thérèse Raquin


Writers: Émile Zola Nona Sheppard


Show Information

Based on the Play/Book/Film
Emile Zola's Thérèse Raquin (1868)
Number of Acts
First Produced
Period, Multiple Settings
Time & Place
Paris, 1860s
Cast Size
Ideal for
College/University, Regional Theatre
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes young adult, adult, mature adult characters


In 1860s Paris, a young couple and their mother have arrived from the country. While Camille works on the railway, his wife, Thérèse, and mother run a small dusty haberdashery near the Seine in the gloomy, narrow Passage du Pont Neuf. Thérèse is trapped in a loveless marriage to Camille and she feels confined with her mother-in-law in the small shop. Madame’s regular Thursday evening domino game nights bore her immensely until, one week, Camille brings his childhood friend Laurent to join their gathering. Overcome with desire, Thérèse embarks on an illicit affair that leads to complete recklessness and murder. With Camille dead in the Seine, Laurent and Thérèse are free to marry, but their former passion disintegrates into a living nightmare. Driven to madness, their minds turn to murder once more.

This new musical adaptation premiered at the Finsbury Park Theatre in 2014 and uses music and lyrics to heighten the dark, psychological themes of Émile Zola’s 1868 novel.

Lead Characters

Thérèse Raquin guide sections