Following the huge successes of their collaboration on TARTFUFFE and THE HYPOCHONDRIAC, English Touring Theatre and Liverpool Playhouse will complete a trilogy of Roger McGough adaptations of classic Molière comedies with THE MISANTHROPE in spring 2013. The ‘McGoughière’ team will reunite McGough with Everyman and Playhouse Artistic Director Gemma Bodinetz, who will direct this co-production with ETT. The Misanthrope premières at The Liverpool Playhouse in February 2013 before a national tour. Press night will be Tuesday 19 February, 7.30pm.
Master wordsmith Roger McGough dips his quill into what many consider to be Molière’s best work in this mockery of manners and morals set amid 17th century French aristocracy. Poet Alceste is disgusted with French society. Powdered fops gossip in code and be-jewelled coquettes whisper behind fans wherever he looks. In pursuit of honesty, he embarks on a one-man crusade against forked-tongues, frippery and fakery. But could the woman he has fallen in love with be the worst culprit of all? As Alceste dreams of a pas de deux, are the only deux of Célimène her faces? And in this rarefied world will his revolution prove just revolting?
Rachel Tackley, Director of English Touring Theatre, said: “After two hugely successful productions with Roger and Gemma, we're delighted to be reuniting with our friends at Liverpool and bringing this work to ETT audiences both old and new. Our audiences have been eagerly anticipating another McGoughiere and we're thrilled to be creating one for them. After a brilliant few days working on the play in the ETT rehearsal space earlier this year it is sure not to disappoint”!
Gemma Bodinetz, Director of Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse said: “Roger and I have loved working together on our previous productions of Molière’s work, Tartuffe and The Hypochondriac, and have seen our joy reflected in the response from audiences both here in Liverpool and all around the country.‘
Liverpool’s Poet Laureate’ Roger McGough’s first adaptation of Molière, Tartuffe, was one of Capital of Culture Year’s smash-hit productions and was revived for a tour with ETT in autumn 2011. A second McGoughière in 2009, THE HYPOCHONDRIAC, premièred at The Playhouse prior to a tour of the UK with ETT and now THE MISANTHROPE will complete a tricolour of farces adapted by McGough.
Roger McGough began writing poetry at University. After four years of teaching he joined up with John Gorman and Michael McCartney to form The Scaffold. The author of more than fifty books, he is an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University and an Honorary Professor at Thames Valley University, and has D.Litts from the universities of Liverpool, Hull and Roehampton. In 2001 he was honoured with the Freedom of the City of Liverpool, along with Brian Patten and Adrian Henri, and in 2004 he was awarded a CBE for services to literature. His latest poetry volume, published in 2012, is As Far As I Know, and, for children, All The Best, The Bees’ Knees and now Slapstick.
Director Gemma Bodinetz took up her post as Artistic Director for the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse in September 2003. Since then, she has directed Macbeth, The Kindness of Strangers, The Mayor of Zalamea and Intemperance at the Everyman; A Streetcar Named Desire, No Wise Men, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Lady of Leisure, All My Sons, Tartuffe and The Hypochondriac at The Playhouse and Yellowman on tour. Gemma previously worked at The Royal Court Theatre and Hampstead Theatre, London.