LA COMEDIE FRANÇAISE

AU CINÉMA

A prestigious stage, two timeless shows... We invite you to experience the most enthralling stories in cinemas. From passion and betrayal to mistaken identities, deception and stratagems... the Troupe will embark you on a journey through the great classics of theatre on the big screen.

Language: French with English subtitles // Location: Alliance Française Oud Metha // Free for AF students with promocode COMP // AED 25 for AF members with promocode COMAF // AED 50 for non-members

Les Fourberies de Scapin

Scapin The Schemer by Molière // Directed by Denis Podalydès

Monday 19 October & Tuesday 20 October at 2:30 PM

For Les Fourberies de Scapin, Molière wished to free himself of the constraints of comédies-ballets and machinery-driven comedies and come back to “pure theatre”, thus offering the director a great freedom.

Twenty years after the previous production of Les Fourberies de Scapin, Denis Podalydès proposes this major work by Molière, which has been performed more than 1,500 times by the Comédiens-Français. “A troupe play, written not for the Court but for the people”, it premiered in 1671 at the Palais-Royal during a period of construction work. For this play, Molière wished to free himself of the constraints of comédies-ballets and machinery-driven comedies and come back to “pure theatre”, thus offering the director a great freedom.


The action is set in Naples, opening a door onto an imagined maritime world stretching towards the Orient. Faced with two authoritarian fathers, two sons, both of whom are thwarted lovers, turn to the crafty Scapin, who is driven by a mad desire for revenge. The character is a double of Scaramouche, the Italian actor of the adventurous life whom Molière admired: “to tell you the truth, there are few things that are impossible for me, when I put my mind to them”, declares the buffoonish servant whose name, as Denis Podalydès points out, derives his from the Italian scappare which means “to escape”, “to scamper off”. Scapin is beaten with a stick at one point but also gets his own back and, in an ambiance of ransom demands and paternal contradictions, he comes up with an avalanche of stratagems and other tricks Molière excells in depicting. After more than 3 months of touring France, the production is returning to the Salle Richelieu. 

La Puce à l'oreille

 

A Flea in her ear by Georges Feydeau // Directed by Lilo Baur

Monday 19 October & Tuesday 20 October at 7:30 PM

In 1907, La Puce à l’oreille marked Feydeau’s triumphant return to vaudeville. Commenting on its impressive construction and incredible inventiveness, a contemporary critic described it as “a fireworks display set off over an anthill” while also expressing enthusiasm for the skill with which it revisits the theme of the double.

The primary source of the confusion that prevails throughout the play is a package opened “by mistake” by Raymonde: it contains suspenders sent from the Minet-Galant hotel. Piqued, she convinces herself that her husband is being unfaithful She asks her friend Lucienne to write a letter to invite her husband to a rendezvous in the same hotel. The accomplice’s plan goes terribly wrong because the letter written in her hand falls into those of her own husband, who in turn thinks he is being cheated on... All the characters end up at Le Minet-Galant where the hotel porter, Poche, is a dead ringer for Raymonde’s husband. « La Puce à l’oreille » pushes Feydeau’s ingenious use of stage resources to new limits, introducing an “emergency staircase” and, most notably, a stratagem to make adulterous couples disappear at the slightest alert.

By entrusting Lilo Baur with this play, whose first production at the Comédie-Française in Jean-Laurent Cochet’s staging dates only to 1978, Éric Ruf has offered the Troupe another opportunity to showcase its mastery of the mechanics of vaudeville.
The director could not have asked for better material with which to develop her artistic world and satisfy her love of acting.

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