Tartuffe is the world’s most-produced French play, and its ridicule of the French aristocracy is easily adaptable to suit most global class systems. In this production, Orgon is a French media tycoon who relocates his family to L.A. He soon meets right-wing evangelical preacher Tartuffe, who uses his power to manipulate Orgon and steal his fortunes. Quickly, Orgon discovers he is on the verge of losing everything.
The production stars Peaky Blinders' Paul Anderson, who makes his West End debut as the titular character. Anderson is best-known for his extensive film credits, including The Revenant, Legend and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Celebrated French stage and screen actress Audrey Fleurot plays Orgon's wife Elmire, with screen credits including Spiral, The Intouchables and Un village français.
Further cast members are Sebastian Roché (Young Pope, The Man in the High Castle) as Orgon, George Blagden (Les Miserables, Black Mirror) as Damis and Olivia Ross (War & Peace) as Mariane, alongside Jaz Deol as Valère, Zachary Fall as The Officer, John Faulkner as Monsieur Loyal, Paikan Garutti as Laurent, Annick Le Goff as Madame Pernelle, Claude Perron as Dorine and Vincent Winterhalter as Cléante.
Gerald Garutti, former dramaturg of the French People’s National Theatre, directs this sharp, current production. Christopher Hampton is no stranger to the play, having adapted it for the RSC 35 years ago with Anthony Sher in the title role. Further creative team includes designer Andrew D. Edwards, lighting designer Paul Anderson, sound designer David Gregory and composer Laurent Petitgand.
The original production so provoked upper-class French audiences that the Archbishop of Paris prohibited Catholics from watching, reading or performing in the play. Molière revised the play with the aim of lifting this edict, but the church would not compromise. It was banned publicly, though private performances continued.
Now, the production comes to London and is guaranteed to resonate with current audiences. This exciting, international production contains plenty of contemporary political relevance, and runs at the venue with Tartuffe tickets available for performances 25 May to 28 July 2018, with a press night on 29 May 2018.
Running time: 2 hours 20 minutes (including an interval)
Age recommendation: Recommended 12+
Special notice: Contemporary and political theatre audiences will want to get tickets to this adaptation of a classic play by France’s Shakespeare.