Sunday, 28 July 2013

The Misanthrope

Once again I found a local play via the TO.Tix website.  This time is was The Misanthrope by Molière.  Unlike the last play I went to see (The Mousetrap) this one was set outdoors.  The setting was the Guild Inn Gardens in Guildwood, on the outskirts of Toronto with the Guild Festival Theatre staging the play.

Before purchasing my ticket I had quickly read a little about the play.  Phases and words like “comedy of manners”, farce and satire instantly appealed to my taste.  So for the price of $24.90 I click “buy”.

On with the play itself and I found it to be everything I thought it to be.  It was a hilarious look at one man’s quest to not partake in any “folly” or fake niceties that was prevalent in 18th Century French aristocracy.  He decides that he will say nothing but the truth.  This leads to all sorts of problems including a trip to court after he insults a fellow member of high society when he writes a love sonnet.  Whilst the words of the sonnet were truly bad, the over-the-top way in which it was delivered made it a highlight of the show.

The main problem our “honest aristocrat” faces is the fact that one person who does enjoy a good gossip happens to be the lady he loves.  She enjoys the high society lifestyle to the full, which means never saying no to a host of suitors who vie for her love and attention. 

As the story unfolds, we see all the backstabbing and bitching that comes with putting on airs and graces instead of being honest.  In the end the truth comes out and everyone is left in no doubt as to where they stand.

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