Paul Anderson and Audrey Fleurot will star in the West End’s first ever dual language production: a new adaptation of Moliere’s Tartuffe. Adaptor Christopher Hampton and director Gerald Garutti have reimagined this 1600s French classic as a darkly comic story of human frailties set in present-day L.A.
When French film tycoon Orgon relocates to Tinsel town with his family, he has his heart set on becoming Hollywood royalty. And with a palatial Beverly Hills mansion and new studio to his name, he seems well on his way to establishing an infallible empire. But Orgon soon falls under the seductive spell of a radical American evangelist named Tartuffe. Completely hoodwinked, Orgon risks losing his fortune and family to Tartuffe’s sly machinations. The so-called evangelist plans to steal Orgon’s vast wealth, drive away his son, seduce his wife, and marry his daughter. Will Orgon come to his senses before it’s too late?
In 1664, Tartuffe, or The Imposter was regarded as one of Moliere’s best plays. Today, it’s a trenchant mockery of human frailties set against the backdrop of Donald Trump’s America. Both then and now, it’s a humorous tale with an undercurrent that’s frighteningly relevant.
The production finds a fitting home at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, which was nicknamed “The New French Theatre” after its opening in 1720. To reflect its swiftly unfolding plot, the play will alternate between English with French surtitles and French with English surtitles.
In the title role of the radical evangelist is Paul Anderson, known for his star turn in the hit drama Peaky Blinders, as well as leading roles in The Revenant, In the Heart of the Sea, and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.
Playing Orgon’s wily, strong-willed wife Elmire is French star Audrey Fleurot. Fleurot’s stage and screen roles include playing The Lady of the Lake in Kaamelott, Joséphine Karlsson in Spiral (BAFTA nominated), Hortense Larcher in Un village francais, and Magalie in international hit The Intouchables. She also played herself in Netflix’s Call My Agent! / Dix pour cent!
Additional casting has not yet been announced.
Adapting Moliere’s classic comedy is Academy, BAFTA, and Olivier Award-winning writer and director Christopher Hampton, whose vast screenplay credits include Dangerous Liaisons (Oscar winner), and Atonement. For the stage, Hampton has worked on an Olivier Award-winning adaptation of Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Sunset Boulevard, and several original plays including Appomatox and The Talking Cure.
Director Gerald Garutti is well-poised at the helm of this dual-language production: he’s directed an English performance of Dangerous Liaisons at the Royal Shakespeare Company and is the former dramaturg of the French National Theatre (Théâtre National Populaire, 2006-11). His many other productions include Notes from the Underground, The Fall Of The House of Usher, and the sell-out French production Brief Praise of Night.
Tartuffe premieres for a limited ten-week engagement at the Theatre Royal Haymarket starting Friday 25th May 2018. (Press Night is Tuesday 29th May.)
Directed by Gerald Garutti
Adapted by Christopher Hampton
Composed by Laurent Petitgand
Designed by Tim Goodchild
Lighting design by Paul Anderson
Sound design by David Gregory
Theatre Royal Haymarket
18 Suffolk Street
Friday 25 May – Saturday 28 July 2018
Tuesday 29 May at 7.00pm