We make bold to obtrude ourselves on Your attention even as You are very busy with Your glorious pursuits and we are painfully aware of submitting to the country a poorly balanced matter.
Nothing is greater or more splendid than the Name we dare to mention at the head of this work and nothing is baser than the latter's content. Every one will judge this match quite strange and some will even say, to hint at its flaws, that it is not unlike crowning a terracotta statue with diamonds and pearls or leading a visitor through impressive porticoes and triumphal arches to reach a hovel.
And yet we dared, Monsieur, dedicate to You this nullity, this entertainment that pales besides Your magnificence, but that we contrived for Your amusement. This paltry work was composed after the writings of Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, the 17th-century playwright whom You probably know better as Molière. In the light of Your glorious fatigue and Your victorious accomplishments it is only justice that those who pretend to strut the stage work either to praise You or to amuse You.
We have tried to do so, in the humble and sincere hope that You will find it in your heart to feel kindly disposed towards this modest work.
If we are unable to present You with an effort measuring up to Your resplendence, it will not be owing to any imperfections on the part of the audience, nor to any lack of zeal or study on the part of the thespians, but only to the mischance that often arises out of the best intentions, and that doubtless distresses considerably.
Your most humble, most obedient and most faithful servants and subjects,
La Troupe Imaginaire
Or Les Fourberies de la Troupe imaginaire
Created for the entertainment of Monsieur
In the month of May 2003, the 21st
And given its first public performance in Brussels
At the Théâtre de la Lune
Arranged marriages, doomed love affairs, doctors, imaginary doctors, philosophers, imaginary philosophers, good manners, imaginary good manners, cuckolds, imaginary cuckolds, adultery, criticism, hiding and snooping about, asides, footmen and maids, feminists, misunderstandings, dances, music, masks, floggings, ladies and gentlemen, wenches and women, rakes and simpletons, apples and pears, misers and coffers, invalids and imaginary invalids, comedians, one-act pieces and farce, comedy and ballet, sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, sonnets and poems, poetry and prose, letters and intrigue, assault and battery, eating and drinking, stuffing oneself and stinking, wigs and bald pates, whiskers and beards, trial and error, tables and chairs, sitting and reclining, enter and exit -
With, among others, Chrysalde, Philaminte, Ariste, Bélise, Armande, Henriette, Martine, L'épine, Clitandre, Vadius, Julien, Organte, Géronte, Octave, Léandre, Silvestre, Hyacinte, Nérine, Zerbinette, Lucile, Nicole, Cléonte, Covielle, Dorante, Dorimène, Argante, Béline, Angélique, Béralde, Louison, Cléante, Thomas, Dom Louis, Elvire, Carlos, Alonse, Violette, Frosine, Ragotin, Mathurine, Charlotte, Orgon, Elmire, Damis, Marianne, Valère, Dorine, Isabelle, Léonore, Lisette, Julie, Andrée, Jeannot, Criquet
By Adrien Albert de La Cour-Jardin, among other parts, Damis Albert Porte-Plume, among other parts, François Gérard du Carrefour, among other parts, Miss Yolande Valentine Bougies-Faiteur, among other parts, Miss Natalie Marie Brioche, among other parts, Miss Sara Alphonsine la Corbusière, Miss Christine Madeleine En-Bédroite, among other parts
Rough-cut theatre, unadulterated playing, popular comedy that does justice to Molière and to the incredibly caustic power of his several centuries old works.
La Libre Belgique
They chew on the (Dutch) words with absolute freedom, never afraid to reveal (or to invent) a subtext. The body follows with wandering hands, opening unexpected possibilities regarding enemas and spanking. These actors have the vital energy of those who create on the spur of the moment, uncontrollable laughter included. Their high spirits are infectious.
Imagine a well-balanced mix of Tex Avery and Benoît Poelvoorde, or something of the sort. And then there is Molière, of course, whom one should not forget to reinstate in all his original virtues. This is sheer happiness. It could lead us to believe that in the 17th century the theatre actually was like this, truly popular, somewhat bantering, and irrepressibly funny. And here are our friends from STAN, acting as the champions of the playwright. A great prank indeed!
Le Dauphiné Libéré
"Although you're seeing everything, don't believe anything" seems to be the key to the play. The STANs don't know how to pretend. And they succeed in this impossible challenge: to expose ruthlessly the hypocrisy that governs our lives.
Three staff members went to see Poquelin and had a whale of a time. Poquelin cheers you up like it has rarely been done, it blows up its ambition as an out and out entertainment and makes the strongest shoulders shake. After another year filled to the brim with unspeakable French comedies, with the worst comedians and television cameos ever, the time has come to take a breath of fresh air. Be it Flemish.
Le Petit Bulletin
with Natali Broods, Jolente De Keersmaeker, Sara De Roo, Damiaan De Schrijver, Tine Embrechts, Adriaan Van den Hoof and Frank Vercruyssen
editing Alexander Devriendt
translation of the Sganarelle adaptation Marc Van den Hoof and Laurence DHondt
mise en place Matthias de Koning
lighting design Thomas Walgrave
costumes An DHuys
assistence costumes Britt Angé
premiere 21 May 2003, Kaaitheater / KunstenFESTIVALdesArts, Brussels
premiere French version 1 October 2004, Théâtre Garonne, Toulouse (FR)