A meta-Misanthrope unlocked to depart Molière | theater

Molière’s famous strokes signal, when someone remembers to use them, the beginning of a theater show. It has been like this since the 17th century. But that code is now distorted into The Misanthrope — by Hugo van der Ding and Martim Sousa Tavares from Molière (yes, the name of the show is exactly that; no, it’s not “from”, it’s really “from” because of Molière little remains beyond the structure of his classic). Invited by Pedro Penim to do a free translation of The Misanthrope to tour the country on board the National Odyssey (the premiere takes place at the Teatro Municipal de Bragança on March 11th, followed by dates in Santa Maria da Feira, Figueira da Foz, Águeda, Coimbra, Covilhã, Horta, Angra do Heroísmo, Funchal, Beja, Faro, Portimão and Almada), the cartoonist, announcer and a thousand other things Hugo van der Ding and conductor Martim Sousa Tavares tried to take up this old practice of bringing a classic to the present day, but without clinging too tightly to the original. “We realized that a translation would be boring, because the original is very boring”, argues Sousa Tavares. The provocation is, after all, a bit like that, adds van der Ding: “We just had to remove the whole text, the structure, the characters, the end and the beginning; Besides, Molière hasn’t aged a day, he’s still very, very funny.”

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