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The Miser

„Amza Pellea” Hall

by Molière

Translation: Vlad Russo

Direction, scenic version, lighting design, musical illustration: Felix Alexa

Set design: Andrada Chiriac

Artistic Advisor: George Banu

Live music: Ovidiu Cârstea și Bogdan Oprănescu

Technical direction: Sorin Gruia

Master of lights: Dodu Ispas

Prompter: Anca Maria Ilinca

Delegated producer: Haricleea Nicolau

Genre of the show: Comedy

Duration of the show: 2 h. fără pauză

Premiere date: 15, 16 oct. 2022

The cast also includes:: Ovidiu Cârstea, Bogdan Oprănescu

Synopsis

In The Miser, Molière takes up the motif of Plautus' ancient comedy, Aulularia (Ulcica), which retains the theme of avarice and the main character, Harpagon, a miserly widower, a selfish, money-obsessed man whose actions are as odious as they are ridiculous. The action takes place in Paris, in Harpagon's house, where he is a saintly guardian of the money he owns and keeps hidden, but from which he also hustles. He is paralysed with fear of losing his treasure and is constantly checking where he has hidden his money. His avarice jeopardises the love affair that has been brewing between his daughter Élise, who is in love with Valère, a Neapolitan gentleman in his father's service, and Cléante, his son, who wants to marry Mariane, a young orphan girl with no fortune, but whom a matchmaker had planned to propose as a wife. Harpagon's children know that their father's stinginess will never allow them to marry those they have fallen in love with because they had no wealth. For Élise he had arranged a marriage to an elderly gentleman, Anselme, who had no claim to dowry, and for his son he had already reserved a rich widow. When the son tries to borrow the money that would bring him independence, he discovers that the moneylender is none other than Harpagon.

 


 

"Molière, it is said, is a master of characters, a precise and uncompromising draughtsman. His theatre exhibits them as in a museum, and we have long looked at these figures reduced to their essence like butterflies pinned to the firmament of humanity. That is why we perhaps even avoid them, considering them too uniform and exemplary. (...)

What is Molière talking about, the one from the second period, the one transformed after meeting Corneille in Lyon? The avatars of the passion that initially seems to contradict the suppleness of nature, which originally arouses comic repudiation and is today, on the contrary, revised. Passion appears as the tragic impulse of destinies incapable of controlling its effects. It is not the "miser" as a type that interests us today, but "Harpagon" as an individual dominated by extreme financial appetite. It is not the "misanthrope" that concerns us, but "Alcestis" as a character lost in an alienated world... let us forget the "general" titles and discover the "individual" destinies. Let's interpret them as symptoms of an internal heartbreak that invites a re-evaluation of the characters, characters who are not masters of themselves but appear as prisoners dependent on a passion. Nothing differentiates them from The Player of Dostoyevsky. It is him we can think of when we look at Harpagon. Every deposedat of himself, for he is possessed by a passion: they belong to the same family. Harpagon is Dostoyevskian."

George Banu, Harpagon or the avatars of a passion


"Molière's masterpiece, The Miser is today becoming a much more nuanced text than it has been considered for centuries, more unpredictable and even prescient. And that's because in today's world, 400 years after Molière's birth, on the anniversary, The Miser takes on new tragi-comic valences, it becomes a cynical and almost clinical image of the immediate present.

This famous text is now revealing itself as a thorough, detailed, darkly humorous x-ray of a paranoid delusion that has gripped humanity.

No character from The Miser is not completely innocent, just as Harpagon does not lack a trace of humanity, even if sometimes deformed.

Duplicity is the main feature of the world we live in and it is apparent in every detail of my show. A duplicity of the characters, of the ever-changing space, of passions and desires that are intensely expressed, yet ephemeral. A duplicity that multiplies and refines itself subtly, like an unseen disease.

The Miser is for me, the image of a world in decay, with an apparent happy endof circumstance. An illusion of happiness, in fact."

Felix Alexa

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