Plays translated, adapted and written by David Nicholson
Molière in non-traditional dress
The dramas of memory are always Hamlet in modern dress.
~ Eyeless in Gaza, Aldous Huxley
In France today, some directors still stage Molière in period (17th century) costume, but increasingly they choose modern or non-traditional dress. We do the same with Shakespeare’s plays; the ability to do so is part of what makes them classics.
In both Tartuffe and WomenEducating Women, I translated Molière’s verse into a universal level of prose – heightened, not colloquial – and which would not be out of place in any period or setting from the 17th century to modern day. My goal was to allow English-language directors the same wide scope enjoyed by their counterparts taking on the original French classic. These photos of the famous ‘table scene’ in two productions of my Tartuffe translation show what I mean:
Here are a number of production photos from recent French-language productions of Tartuffe, Les Femmes Savantes and Le Misanthrope in non-traditional sets and costumes. (To be clear, all productions pictured below used Molière’s original French text.) For more details, hover your cursor over any photo or click on it.
MISANTHROPE Compagnie La Question du Beurre, Tournée en France, 2011 – Arsinoé, Célimène