Friday, 15 April 2016

Theater Basel | Der Menschen Feind (the misanthrope)

The comedy der Menschen Feind (the misanthrope) by Molière plays at the Theater Basel now in an adaption by PeterLicht and direction by Claudia Bauer.
The german author and musician PeterLicht plays with words and recurring phrases and the evening begins with Alceste played by Florian von Manteuffel (who was brilliant in this role) talking to his friend Philinte. The first part of the play is mostly a monologue where Alceste talks about the society, truthfulness and his annoyance, trying to explain it to his friend and the audience with cynical metaphors like metrosexual toes. We could not stop laughing, while watching him (with a disgusted expression on his face) desperately trying to find a way out of his annoyance while getting angrier with every word.
A choir of four furry figures drinking from a paper cup with a straw crosses the stage a few times, interrupting their rhythmical walk only to comment cynically on some of Alcestes statements.
The second part of the play opens up for more actors, creating a chaotic and very amusing dynamic.
Alceste tries to convince his lover Célimène to change her open and loose living, and be with him instead, as he says he super-loves her looks but to really super-love her she has to change her inner values.
She's not ready for this step yet and so Alceste finds himself in the middle of a gathering of people, common friends, Célimène's admirers and domestic servants, who come together for a pain converence, a touch-and-feel workshop and a following evaluation of these.
The different characters are exaggerated, bizarre and amusing and Acastes attempt  to find a logical storyline in this mess remains unsuccessful.
The production of the misanthrope was very modern and incredibly entertaining and the rather antique and baroque costumes created an exaggerated contrast that made the play even more funny.
The actors where all absolutely fantastic, we laughed a lot and the evening passed by very quickly.

Florian von Manteuffel as ALCESTE
Max Rothbart as PHILINTE
Simon Zagermann as ORONTE
Liliane Amuat as CÉLIMÈNE
Mario Fuchs as BASQUE
Elias Eilinghoff as ACASTE
Myriam Schröder as ARSINOÉ
Carina Braunschmidt as ÉLIANTE

production: Claudia Bauer
stage and costume: Patricia Talacko, Dirk Thiele
music: Peer Baierlein
dramatic composition: Constanze Kargl

picture © Simon Hallström

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