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Molière – Marcin Ryl-Krystianowski
Antoś, King Louis XIV – Artur Romański
Punch – Igor Fijałkowski
Armanda – Mariola Ryl-Krystianowska
Marianna, Wise Officer – Sylwia Koronczewska-Cyris
Walery, Stupid Officer – Dominika Byrska / Marcin Chomicki
directing, scenography, musical arrangement, puppets – Neville Tranter (Australia / Netherlands)
music for Louis XIV’s song – Michał Łaszewicz
director's assistant – Agnieszka Błaszczak (PWST Theatre School)
Paris, February 17, 1673, Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (also known as Molière) plays the leading role in The Imaginary Invalid. During the performance he gets an attack of a choking cough, which makes his performance more convincing. A few hours later he dies at home.
This story inspired Neville Tranter to do a performance about one of the greatest French actors and playwrights. It is a story of a man torn between being faithful to his ideals and adjusting his life to harsh reality. Molière wished to devote himself entirely to art, however, too many obstacles stood in his way: a lack of money, miserable actors, a moody wife, poor health and influential people with whom he was conflicted. Speech defect shattered his dreams of great and serious roles. Being forever condemned to a jester hat, like no one else, he could present the tragedy of human existence wearing a comical costume.
The story that Neville Tranter tells us using puppets is a story of a struggle of a great writer and an old man – with his weaknesses, temptations and memories. Characters who are present in his last days of life are suspended between realism and imagination. They are neither people closes to him nor characters from his written and unwritten works. Human size grotesque puppets additionally emphasise the fact of being torn between what is here and now, and what is infinite.
The performance takes the form of commedia dell'arte. It is also dualistic as it entertains and moves at the same time.
* During this only one-hour performance a lot is going on, there is room for unrefined courtship of spouses, talks about death, and musical show of Louis XIV, singing, among others, Let the sunshine in and May There Always Be Sunshine, of course, in Russian. Yet, the biggest advantage of Molière is the way it captures the metatheatrical topic. Tranter in a light way shows the relationship between the world of art and politics, explores human elements and weaknesses affecting theatre groups.
Anna Rogulska, Lalki Neville’a Trantera opowiadają o metafizyce i polityce teatru, the portal kulturapoznan.pl
* Molière byNeville Tranter in The Animation Theatre in Poznań is doomed to success from the very beginning, and it would be a big surprise if it happened otherwise. And it is a success indeed!
Juliusz Tyszka, Gargantuicznie, portal teatralny.pl