A Moliere Weekend celebrates the French playwright’s work with two comedies
When it comes to 18th century restoration comedy, the French playwright, Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, better known as Moliere, exemplifies the wit, farce and social satire that the genre represents. “His plays take potshots at the hypocrisy of the high society but are never preachy or slapstick in nature,” explains theatre personality Archana Kariappa from Bangalore Little Theatre. Along with Alliance Francaise and Rotary Theatre Club, the Bangalore Little Theatre hosts A Moliere Weekend, by staging two plays — Sganarelle and Salaam Moliere. Archana further explains how Moliere always satirised the upper classes and even religious godmen of his day and age with the highest degree of wit. “The first time you read Moliere, you realise it’s pure madness. It’s hilarious!” she enthuses. Read on to know more:
Salaam Moliere is a production comprising six short plays by the playwright, starring Archana and Vijay Sharma. “It is an hour-long production where the two of us (Archana and Vijay) play various characters from the stories,” Archana tells us. Some of the stories are The Physician In Spite Of Himself, School For Wives, The Imaginary Invalid and The Would-Be Gentleman. All the stories follow the common theme of satire and mockery. This piece is directed by Vijay Padaki, one of the founding members of Bangalore Little Theatre.
His 1660 play, Sganarelle Ou Le Cocu Imaginaire (The Imaginary Cuckold), is a hysterical comedy-of- errors-style piece. “It is a short and sweet play, with a happy ending, which always gets a big laugh from the audience,” says director Solomon Paramel. The plot follows two couples — Sganarelle (the cuckold from the title), his wife, and the young lovers, Célie and Lélie. They each believe that their partners are cheating on them, and the play is about the quarrels and misunderstandings that arise.
Entry free. Until June 24. At Alliance Francaise, Vasanth Nagar