An Aussie Twist On A French Classic: Tartuffe
Nahima Kern | On 19, Nov 2016
In these modern times and digital age when cons and scams are riddling the internet and puzzling the vulnerable it sometimes begs the question if this is anything new. It’s not.
Con men have existed and forever will exist through time, preying on the gullible. So, Iâ€™m sure, when French playwright MoliÃ©re wrote his classic play Tartuffe, all those centuries ago, he couldnâ€™t wait to ridicule the ultimate con-man. The falsely pious religious man. The kind of man that would use the ideals of the church to â€œplunder the earthâ€ and hoodwink the easily moved, as playwright Justin Fleming puts it. Flemingâ€™s adaptation of the play Tartuffe puts it into a more modern, Australianised context yet maintains the timeless tropes and charming wit that one finds in a MoliÃ©re piece.
Tartuffe is one of those plays that seems ambitious to perform, but is in fact readily accessible to all with its themes still relevant today. Following the story of a family whose male head, Orgon, has been ensnared by the cunning Monsieur Tartuffe, a man masquerading as a pious, spiritual man with bountiful advice to impart, and hidden desires to fulfil, it explores the very heart of human nature. When Orgon announces to his only daughter, Mariane that she is to marry Tartuffe, and not the man she loves, the whole family tries to make him see reason. Because the majority of Orgonâ€™s family are mistrusting of Tartuffeâ€™s intentions, a battle of wits is carried out between the family and Tartuffe, to try and expose the con man for what he truly is.
The suspense the audience experienced was gruelling at times, with one never really knowing what was around the corner. The delivery of the rhyming verse was expertly done, with the actors breaking their rhythm at times to provide a comedic aspect to their lines. The casting was very well done. Queensland Theatre always deliver and this time was no exception. Each of the actors fit their respective roles well and provided plenty of memorable, humorous moments such as Tartuffeâ€™s seedy, sleazy, seduction attempt on Elmire, wife to Orgon. Tartuffe is just one of those plays that resonates with the audience through its didactic messages and ultimately its human and classic qualities. So whether you want bawdy jokes to laugh at, or relatable themes to reflect on, or indeed, both, Tartuffe is definitely worth your time.
WhereÂ The Playhouse, QPAC
WhenÂ NovemberÂ 12 – December 4
How MuchÂ $52-82
Find out more about the eventÂ here