HARPAGON, the notorious niggard in Moliere’s work, will be staged as a man in our time at Shanghai Grand Theater, this time with no wigs or candlesticks.
Comedy “L’Avare”, created based on Moliere’s text, will be staged by La Comedie de Reims from France tomorrow, starring Laurent Potrenaux. It will be the first time for La Comedie de Reims to present their works in Shanghai.
Finding much connection in Moliere’s text with our world today triggered on director Ludovic Lagarde’s determination to make it live again on stage as a modern story.
According to Lagarde, Moliere’s “L’Avare” did not gain success in the 17th century when it was born, yet gradually accepted and appreciated worldwide later. It was quite a pioneering work of Moliere to touch money issues which was no mainstream topics at the time compared with religion or morality. Yet, it may resonate with a large number of audiences nowadays when money became a key issue and even a faith of the world.
“The function of money is to pay, but in the story it has lost this function. It seems to have become the target of a mortiferous worshipping. Everything can be sacrificed for money, since nothing else matters, there is no value, and no price… except for money of course,” said Lagarde.
“For this new moral, there is one imperative, categorical as one might expect: odorless, invisible, money must produce even more money. Without any profit for anybody but the Avare as his good is precisely money which has no function except to make him crave for it,” added he.
Though tend to think about saving a villain’s image by his performance usually, Poitrenaux said that he tried merely presenting Harpagon’s dark craziness for money in this one.
“Nothing shook his crave for money. The only moment he cried is when he lost his money,” said Poitrenaux, “that is who he is.”
To make the story more connected to nowadays, Harpagon’s home was set as a storehouse with piles of cargos gathered and servant stocking, examining, and transferring goods torpidly.
“It will be much like one storehouse of online shop-owners at amazon or alibaba that everybody knows about,” said Lagarde.
Audiences will also see Harpagon skilled in guns in both hands, women matchmaker with red lips and suitcase, and Master Jacques with tattoos.
Lagarde is confident about audiences’ laughing though he insists realist rather than exaggerating acting on every performer.
“French comedy believes that seriousness triggers laughter better. And such laughter often triggers on deeper reflection,” said Lagarde.
Date: June 27, 7:15pm
Venue: Shanghai Grand Theater
Address: 300 People’s Ave.
Tickets: 80-580 yuan