Exchange Theatre returns to the London’s Drayton Arms Theatre with Moliere’s Misanthrope as part of their yearly Bastille Festival – a celebration of French theatre, performed in English and French.
In a time of alternative facts and fake news, Misanthrope finds unanticipated echoes in the world today, transforming the 17th century society salon into a contemporary newsroom..
Alceste is an honourable and outspoken man, in love with Célimene, a bright but slightly vain socialite. Tormented by a trial, he confides to his friend Philinte about his love and how he despises society’s complacency.
His complicated love-life is then challenged even more when he abruptly witnesses the gossips and small talks going on between Célimene and her court.
In a world of permanent fast breaking news and emptiness, Alceste remains the most loyal man, but he lacks only one virtue – compassion for others.
His search for honesty is tormenting him and as if it could not get worse, he is in love with Celimene, a free spirit who entertains the surrounding vacuity, and makes it her business.
Off West End Best Director nominee, David Furlong, returns to direct, fresh from his stint at the Royal Opera House.
He said: “After last year’s recognition from our peers, the press and the audience, and following the conversation we started in a post-Brexit UK, it seems that we have found our place as outsiders.
“Ten years after our first steps into translations of rare French-speaking plays, we are so proud to produce bold double productions in two languages and hold an annual festival for migrants and multi-lingual theatre makers.
“And it’s only logical that we will carry on exploring our unique language of diversity and the variety of processes that make ours as a company.
“We’re thrilled to follow last year’s success with another passionate effort at making theatre for our time.”
Cast: James Buttling, Fanny Dulin, Luca Fontaine, David Furlong, Palmyre Ligué, Simeon Oakes and Anoushka Ravanshad.
Exchange Theatre is an international company established in 2006 in London in order to translate and produce unknown or rare French-speaking plays in English.
Misanthrope runs at the Drayton Arms Theatre from June 13-July 8 with English performances June 13-17, 26-29 and July 7-8; French performances June 20-24, 30, and July 1, 4-6.