Thursday, 23 August 2018

Moliere en Claise

Last Friday Antoinette and Niall joined Susan and I for an apero style tea before we headed off to the garden at the back of the Mairie for an evening of Moliere and Lully.

The play itself is a fairly standard 17th century comedy of manners, about a particularly vain man and his social aspirations. Mix in his (of course) much cleverer wife, an elocution lesson, a daughter who he won't allow to get married, and some disguises (and a false moustache) and you have the perfect light weight evening's amusement*. It was first performed at the Chateau of Chambord, for Louis XIV.



Extra value was the addition of a small musical ensemble in period costume playing occasional music from Jean-Baptiste Lully. The musicians also sang and acted some of the minor roles. Although all of the performers are amateur the production was really good, and received with enthusiasm by the large (for Preuilly) audience.

The "Troupe Prélude en Berry" was formed in August 2013, and tours the Indre and neighboring departments. They are based in le Blanc and comprise an acting troupe and a Baroque era music ensemble. Their theatrical productions usually premiere in Paris, and the music ensemble travels far and wide.

The last time Susan and I saw any Moliere was 1999 in London (in English) with Eric Sykes in "School for Scandal". Friday was the first time I have seen a play in French, and we chose a good 'un - not too complicated or verbose, and not requiring masters level French to follow.

Apparently the same ensemble visited Preuilly last year and we didn't go. Next year (hopefully) we definitely will.

*spoiler: the disguises and false moustache work and the marriage is approved.

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