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Posted by : RodDungate on Feb 17, 2006 - 10:14 AM Archive

by Moliére adaptated by Ranjit Bolt

Watermill – West Berkshire Playhouse to 18 March then tour to 27 May 2006
Mon-Sat 7.30pm Mat Thu & Sat 2.30pm except 18 March at 1.30pm & 6.30pm
Runs 2hr 15min One interval

TICKETS: 01635 46044
Review: Stewart McGill 13 February

A handsome affair.

As expected Jonathan Munby’s production of Tartuffe at Watermill is a handsome looking affair with stylish designs by Mike Britton that gives the effect of a court-drama in a chamber space and provides an intimacy between player and spectator. My chief disappointment in the work is that Bolt’s adaptation is based on the rhyming couplet and this is played full tilt! The result makes for an exaggerated and posturing series of performances that, whilst executed with gusto, reduces the honesty and detail overall to the 2-dimensional.

The elements of Tartuffe that hit home today in a society rife with religious division, deceit and oppression are sacrificed for comic effect and whilst the show has its fair share of humour I felt this was too much of a reduction.

Adrian Schiller’s Tartuffe is a fine performance within the given style and the whole company play the comedy with relish. It’s entertaining, colourful and will please many with its broad strokes of comedy but, at heart, I feel subtlety and detail of Moliére’s analysis of religious corruption is subsumed by a desire to please.

Damis: Joseph Chance
Mme Pernelle: Marty Cruickshank
Dorine: Patricia Gannon
Monsieur Loyal/Violinist: Tom Jude
Elmire: Catherine Kanter
Orgon: Des McAleer
Cleante: John McAndrew
Laurent/King's Officer: Chris Porter
Flipote/Violinist: Maria Rallings
Mariane: Sophie Roberts
Tartuffe: Adrian Schiller
Valère: Matthew Spencer.

Director: Jonathan Munby
Designer: Mike Britton
Lighting: Oliver Fenwick
Music: Dominic Haslam
Movement: Katherine Taylor
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