A FAST-paced saucy romp satirising religious hypocrisy and naivety is coming to Limelight Theatre, giving a modern spin to a play almost 360 years old.
Tim Mooney’s adaptation of Molière’s Tartuffe is directed by Gwen Browning and follows the title character as he worms his way into the good books of the wealthy Orgon.
Outwardly religious but inwardly lustful, Tartuffe is promised Orgon’s daughter’s hand in marriage and is taken into their home and given the best of everything.
But the rest of the family see through Tartuffe’s hypocrisy and crafty manipulations – and join forces to plot against him to expose him for what he is.
Molière was an actor and playwright and is regarded as “the Shakespeare of France”, given his writings and performances are still studied, interpreted and celebrated today.
“I studied Tartuffe in French at school many years ago,” Gwen said. “I recently became inspired when I visited Molière’s home village, Pezenas, in France, where they perform his plays every summer at the Theatre Comedie.
“It reminded me of the humour in his plays and how his universal themes transport well into modern day.”
With a passion for theatre spanning several decades, Gwen joined Limelight Theatre in 1983 and has graced the stage with countless memorable performances that have earned her numerous acting awards.
She has also directed the plays Hotel Sorrento, Whose Life Is It Anyway?, Life x 3, Quartet, Equally Divided, Talking Heads and Jack and The Beanstalk – the last two both picking up best production awards – and is the current president of Limelight Theatre.
As with any show, Gwen acknowledged that Tartuffe comes with its unique set of challenges.
“The play is written in rhyme, which adds to the comedic aspects of the play,” she said.
“But rather like Shakespeare’s blank verse, actors need to have strong sense of how to convey its meaning.”
Tartuffe plays at 7.30pm September 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22 and 23 with a 2pm matinee September 17. Tickets are $23, $20 concession – book at TAZTix.com.au or call TAZTix on 9255 3336.