Over the years, Moliere’s classic 17th century work “The Misanthrope” has taken on many forms. When the French playwright penned the work it was already a popular draw, but since then adaptations have appeared in many different shapes and sizes.
Liz Lochhead once penned a version that focused on the Scottish Parliament whilst another version by Tony Harrison updated the classic tale for the twentieth century in a different way. More recently, the twenty-first century had its own version of “The Misanthrope” in the form of Renjit Bolt’s “The Grouch”, which located the action in modern London. It shows that the themes prevalent in Moliere’s play have remained relevant over the centuries since its completion.
The West End has now gotten its hands on a new version of the story from playwright Martin Crimp, starring film and television performers Keira Knightley and Damian Lewis in starring roles with Tara Fitzgerald, Dominic Rowan and Tim McMullen rounding out the cast.
Crimp’s reworking of the classic focuses on the character of Alceste (Lewis), a famous playwright who has become discontented with modern society. Throughout the course of the show we follow his plight as he looks at the world around him with disappointment and resent for what he sees. He believes the twenty-first century as shallow and the way it operates misguided. But pretty soon this outlook on the world is challenged in a way he could not have imagined.
He meets a film star in the form of Jennifer (Knightley), who sets him in a new direction. This whole new way of looking at things has come from the unlikeliest of sources, but it may seem that this Hollywood starlet will become too much to handle.
The two main stars need little introduction, however with “The Misanthrope”, Knightley makes her West End debut in a role that has earned her a nomination for a Laurence Olivier Award. The star has previously appeared in movies like “The Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Atonement” and can now add the stage to her long list of achievements.
Her co-star Damien Lewis is a regular of the theatre, having appeared in “Five Gold Rings” at the Almeida Theatre, “Pillar’s Of The Community” at the National Theatre as well as “Little Eyolf” and “Cymbeline for the Royal Shakespeare Company. For the screen he has appeared in “Band of Brothers”, “The Forsyte Saga” and “Dreamcatcher”.
“The Misanthrope” opened at the Comedy Theatre on Thursday 17th December 2009 and is currently booking to Saturday 13th March 2010.
|Booking From:||Monday, 7th December 2009|
|Booking Until:||Saturday, 13th March 2010|
|Matinees:||Wednesday and Saturday 2.30pm|
|Evenings:||Monday to Saturday 7.30pm|
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