A quirky sense of humour

A quirky sense of humour

Entertaining Vignettes

A quirky sense of humour

TThe graduates of Bangalore Little Theatre’s SPOT (Summer Project on Theatre) workshop recently staged a production titled ‘Moliere Alive!’ at the Alliance Francaise.

The play was a tribute to Jean Baptise Poquelain — better known by his stage name Moliere — the famous French playwright. Along with tracing a few of his stories, it also provided interesting glimpses into his somewhat turbulent life. Adapted from ‘Moliere Alive!’ by Vijay Padaki, it was directed by Priya Venkatesh and Naveen Tater.

The play was told in the form of irreverently funny vignettes, selected from Moliere’s works. Each was characterised by a certain cheeky sense of humour that the playwright is best known for. The production opened on a peppy note with a bunch of girls, clad in folksy outfits, singing to the audience. They established the fact that they were looking for an Indian connect early on, by humming Hindi tunes and mentioning that Moliere was born on Makkar Sankranthi.

A vignette based on Moliere’s most famous and last work, ‘The Imaginary Invalid’, was staged next. ‘The Imaginary Invalid’ is the story of a man obsessed with sickness who refuses to believe that he’s as healthy as a horse and insists on marrying his daughter to a doctor — despite her wishes — just to provide himself with round-the-clock medical attention.

The actors — Nishant Uniyal and Jeru Manoj — portrayed a scene where the invalid is discussing his daughter’s marriage, mentioning his desire to marry his other daughter to the owner of the apothecary. Although somewhat abrupt, the piece managed to draw some titters from the audience.

Some of the other vignettes that were put up included ‘School for Wives’, ‘Physician in Spite of Himself’, ‘Tartuffe’, ‘Don Juan’ and ‘Would be Gentleman’. Interestingly, the actors also wove snippets of history into the performance — for instance, through their depictions, they spoke about Moliere’s flair for drama, his turbulent second marriage to a 17-year-old girl at the age of 40 and much more.

“It was a little abrupt in places, but I liked the theme. Moliere has come up with some interesting pieces and it would be nice to see more productions based on his works,” said Aditya, a member of the audience.