Yesterday, as today, performing Molière is the actors’ exceptional day-to-day routine.
Since 1680, Molière’s theatre has been the bedrock of the Repertoire as he is by far the most frequently performed author by the Troupe. An absolute reference given his career and the universal scope of his work, he is performed every year and at all times complements a more contemporary programme. In the past, when an actor was starting off his career, the audience called for him to be cast in Molière roles so he could have his baptism of fire. For ten performances, he was given the opportunity to prove himself in leading roles. Due to its variety, Molière’s repertory provided plenty material to alternate short and long plays at the time when two plays were performed per evening. The pillars of the Comédie-Française –the Troupe, the Repertoire, the alternating productions– therefore draw on his theatre more than any other.
This exceptional day-to-day is experienced by the actors in the staging of Molière’s plays, but also during certain events when this tutelary figure brings the Troupe and its audience together. Even before the homage to Molière, which has been celebrated every 15 January since 1822, the entire Troupe was obliged to attend every performance of The Imaginary Invalid, for the so-called “doctors ceremony”, the final entertainment in the play during which Argan is inducted as a physician by an assembly of learned and comical charlatans.
The Comédie-Française’s collection of artworks is particularly rich in pieces related to the playwright: portraits of the author, but also portraits of actors in the roles of his repertory. Molière’s bust is touched for luck, and his armchair is venerated. It is in fact this armchair that Molière used for the role of Argan in The Imaginary Invalid, and in which he suffered the first discomforts that were going to be the death of him a few hours later on 15 February 1673. Today, this relic is displayed in the Salle Richelieu in the gallery of busts, with thousands of spectators coming to view it every year.
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Suite au renforcement du plan Vigipirate, toute personne se présentant avec une valise ou un sac (hors sac à main) se verra interdire l'accès à l'enceinte des trois théâtres de la Comédie-Française.
Pour faciliter les contrôles, merci d'arriver au minimum 30 minutes avant le début des représentations.