Saturday, 15 September 2018

Theater Basel | Tartuffe oder das Schwein der Weisen

In his second play by Molière for the Theater Basel (after der Menschen Feind), Peter Licht rewrites Molière's controversial play Tartuffe, which was promptly banned by Louis XIV after the world premiere in 1664, as the imposter Tartuffe was too obviously an attack on the catholic church.
Molière had to rewrite the play twice.
Staged by Claudia Bauer, Peter Licht creates a new version of the comedy, completely rewrites the whole play, the only thing remaining are the table (under which Orgon will hide later on to expose Tartuffes deception) and Tartuffe, who still is an imposter, and turns out to be "just some kind of regular sex-shaman".
Orgon falls for "Tuffie's" words and submits himself to his influence, to the horror of his relatives, who get intangled from the first minute in conversations about having the urge of leaving the room before having entered it and about wether "Tuffie" is randy, un-randy, or maybe only half-randy.
We really like Peter Lichts style, the way he has the conversations circle around one word for minutes, or how his texts find their way from gender-issues to nasal hair extensions within no-time.
And through all these piled up words sometimes deep messages come through and some of the sentences are like ear worms and get stuck in our heads for weeks, just as his songs that he writes especially for the plays.

PeterLicht: «It’s quite clear that in this world there aren’t only two people telling each other things. There are more than two. That much is certain. Although many things from the set of building blocks from which the world is structured are based on binary arrangements, on the dualistic principle of argument and counter argument, truth and untruth, death and life, one and zero, dick and non-dick, one must not lose sight of the fact that there are more than two players, for example 3 or 4 or 7 or more.  Or a lot MORE. An infinite number. Everyone. One. And then it’s obvious that when a play is presented in the theatre that deals with ALL PLAYERS, there is only ONE play. And that is the play of the ONE PLAYER (or the ONE BRAIN or ONE LIFE) through which the play runs, in other words through you, dear audience. The performance runs through you like a liquid drop of lead through a lump of butter, although in this case it’s not clear who is the lead and who is the butter, and perhaps we shouldn’t talk about liquid lead here but rather a glowing drop of molten gold that sinks through a pat of butter like a consciousness through which awareness sinks like a stone in a state of weightlessness.»

production: Claudia Bauer
stage: Andreas Auerbach
costume: Vanessa Rust
light: Cornelius Hunziker
music: PeterLicht
arrangement and musical direction: Henning Nierstenhöfer
dramatic composition: Constanze Kargl

Katja Jung as MR / MRS PERNELLE
Florian von Manteuffel as ORGON
Myriam Schröder as ELMIRE
Mario Fuchs as DAMIS
Leonie Merlin Young as MARIANE
Max Rothbart as CLÉANTE
Pia Händler as DORINE
Nicola Mastroberardino as TARTUFFE

Henning Nierstenhöfer as filipote / live music
Julian Gresenz as live camera

© picture: Priska Ketterer

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