'Crimp has treated Moliere the way Moliere had treated Plautus: he has seized on the timeless core of the story and recast it with wit and respect. The result is both a genuinely new version of Moliere's play and a homage to it. The writing it cool, sharp and ferociously funny... A thrillingly sophisticated modern version of a classical play.' Sunday Times
Alceste abhors hypocrisy and the well-rehearsed, sycophantic pleasantries of the chattering classes. But having savaged Covington - a theatre critic who thinks he can write plays - Alceste goes on to attack Jennifer, the woman he really loves. What if his determination to tell the truth proves more destructive than their instinct to avoid it?
Moliere's greatest comedy, Le Misanthrope (1666), with its fierce argument between conformity and non-conformity, is reworked in this blistering contemporary version.
Martin Crimp's version of The Misanthrope premiered at the Young Vic Theatre, London, in February 1996 and was revived at the Comedy Theatre, London, in November 2009.
Moliere (1622-73) was born Jean Poquelin, the son of a prosperous upholsterer of Paris. His father was attached to the service of the King and Moliere was intended to succeed him. However, in 1643 he changed his surname and joined a family of actors, the Bejarts. Encouraged by their touring success the group returned to Paris and performed in front of Louis XIV and his Court. The success of Moliere's farce Le Docteur Amoureux gave the group the opportunity to share a theatre at the Petit- Bourbon with an Italian company, and here Moliere's reputation was established. His other plays include L'Ecole des Femmes (1662), Don Juan (1665), Tartuffe (written 1664, produced 1667), Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme (1671), Les Femmes Savantes (1673) and Le Malade Imaginaire (1673).