One Minute World Arts- Happy 400th Birthday to the French #Comedy Master – Molière!

January 15, 2022 marks the 400th “birthday” of #Molière, the French master #playwright. Actually, the exact date of Molière’s birth is unknown, and therefore a baptism certificate dated January 15, 1622 has been used as an anniversary indicator over these years. One of Molière’s greatest contributions to the stage is #Tartuffe, a comedy first created and performed as a three-act play in 1664, but was soon forbidden due to accusations of impiety from the powerful Catholic Church. However, Molière persisted, claiming that he was not targeting at religion or true believers, but rather at the hypocrisy of those who pretended to be virtuous. By 1669, a longer version of Tartuffe, in five acts instead of three, was finally approved and met with acclaim. This year, as the state theatre Comédie-Française in Paris is getting ready to celebrate Molière’s achievement, a new production of Tartuffe will be presented to show respect to the French comedy master.

Thanks to Georges Forestier, a professor and a Molière specialist, and his colleague Isabelle Grellet, the #Comédie-Française’s audience will get to see a Tartuffe that is pretty close to the original. Forestier and Grellet have used what they call “theatrical genetics” to recreate the 1664 version. It relies on sources the era’s playwrights drew heavily on, such as commedia dell’arte scenarios and existing short stories, to piece together a play’s original plot.



2022年1月15日,適逢法國喜劇大師 #莫里哀 (Moliere)的400歲冥誕紀念。事實上,莫里哀生前並無留下確切之出生日期,後人因而改用其受洗證明上所載明的日子,來做為他的出生紀念日。莫里哀平生最著名的劇作之一《#偽君子》(Tartuffe),創作於17世紀:第一版以三幕劇的形式寫就,但在天主教教會權勢強大的社會氛圍裡,被認定觸犯了利用文學來批判宗教的大忌,因此受到查禁;但莫里哀據理力爭,堅稱自己的劇作並未褻瀆宗教,而是在批判那些偽善的假追隨者,最後終於在1669年,推出了教會也同意演出的 #五幕劇版《偽君子》,並獲得極大的迴響。而今,巴黎的 #法蘭西喜劇院 (Comédie-Française)已著手準備,要利用這齣經典劇作,向這位重要的國寶級喜劇作家致敬。

此番法蘭西喜劇院推出的2022年《偽君子》紀念版,特別延請研究莫里哀的專家喬治・弗雷斯提耶(Georges Forestier)教授,以及他的同儕伊莎貝拉・格列蕾(Isabelle Grellet),聯手運用所謂「#劇場基因學」(theatrical genetics)的編創手法,藉由當時劇作家們多會採用的形式和素材,如 #即興式喜劇 裡的場景,和已為人知的短篇故事等,盡可能還原莫里哀於1664年所完成的三幕劇形貌,以饗觀眾。

Photo Credit: ©Jan Versweyveld、©Clément Gaubert、Heritage Image Partnership Ltd Alamy、Granger Historical Picture Archive Alamy