Direction Galin Stoev
Orgon and his mother, Madame Pernelle, swear by Tartuffe, a self-proclaimed man of piety who lives off their generosity. The other family members share the sentiments of the housemaid Dorine, who is outraged by the sway the clergyman holds over her master. They scheme to find a way to convince Orgon that Tartuffe is a hypocrite of the worst kind. Orgon remains unequally unmoved by the warnings of his brother Cléante and the entreaties of Mariane––the daughter he has promised in marriage to the impostor. It will take all the cunning of Orgon’s wife Elmire for him to finally open his eyes to Tartuffe’s intentions. As the latter is on the point of being driven from the house, he brandishes a deed that names him as the new owner. It is only a royal intervention, a veritable Deus ex machina, that saves the family from ruin in the end.
The English actor, screenwriter and playwright Harold Pinter (1930-2008), winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005, was a major figure of the British theatre revival in the 1950s. The atmosphere of malaise and cruelty that characterised his early works, a style qualified as “comedy of menace”, evolved into an exploration of intimacy and into political concerns from the 1980s. Apart from the relationships between couples, a subject at the heart of the plays from the middle period––The Collection (1961), The Lover (1962) Old Times (1970) and Betrayal (premiered in 1978 and made as a film in 1982)–– memory is one of his recurring themes. Betrayal borrows the equation of bourgeois theatre––the husband, the wife, the lover––but deconstructs it thanks to its narrative artifice to reveal the essence, the depth and intricacies of this bond between them.
The Bulgarian director, Galin Stoev lives and works in Belgium, France and Bulgaria. At the Comédie-Française, he has directed Spiro Scimone’s La Festa (2007), Hanoch Levin’s Sweet Revenge and Other Sketches (2008), Corneille’s L’Illusion Comique (2008) and Marivaux’s The Game of Love and Chance (2011). Elsewhere he has also directed Marivaux’s The Triumph of Love and Ferenc Molnár’s Liliom. In his view, more than a character, Tartuffe is a syndrome that circulates among the different protagonists, revealing the conflicts and paradoxes of human nature. Through Tartuffe we are given to observe the tug-of-war between trust and manipulation, reason and fanaticism, lust and spirituality, these oscillations that define intimate dimension of our humanity.