Review: Thon Man Moliere

Moli�re (Jimmy Chisholm) and Madeleine (Siobhan Redmond). Picture: contributed
Moli�re (Jimmy Chisholm) and Madeleine (Siobhan Redmond). Picture: contributed
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AS its 50th season draws to a close The Lyceum wisely turned to Liz Lochhead and her love of 17th century playwright Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, aka Molière, to bring their golden anniversary year to a joyous conclusion.

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Royal Lyceum, Grindlay Street

Lochhead’s long-time passion for the French comedy writer has seen her adaptations of his work including Tartuffe and Misery Guts hit the stage to great acclaim.

Thon Man Molière, however, is a brand new piece which focuses more on the man himself, providing an imaginary peek into his life and in particular his relationship with actress Madeleine Béjart.

Bound together by their love of the stage and briefly of each other, Moliére (Jimmy Chisholm) and Madeleine (Siobhan Redmond) spend every waking hour desperately trying to keep their touring theatre company afloat, a task made all the more difficult by the completely dysfunctional family of actors they have employed.

As he flits between backstage and bedchamber, Moliére not only completes yet another draft of his latest work, but also manages to marry a teenager, become a father for the first time, fall foul of the church and finally see his theatre company given the King’s seal of approval, all this, while his wonderfully outrageous troupe of fragile performers partake in some elaborate bed hopping of their own.

Lochhead’s use of the Scots language cleverly merges old and new and even provides the excellent Molly Innes as Toinette with her very own catchphrase.

Chisholm and Redmond are in fine form as they lead a strong ensemble through this glorious romp with director Tony Cownie’s comedic touch ensuring the laughter hit rate is high.

Until 11 June