Tartuffe, the 'ETA production. Pic: Comp
Tartuffe, the 'ETA production. Pic: Comp
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REGARDED by many as the French answer to Shakespeare, Moliere is universally regarded as the greatest French writer of comedy.

In 1664 he wrote Tartuffe, a play that was banned following its first production in Paris.

It was revived in 1669 and since then has been adapted by numerous writers. Edinburgh Theatre Arts (ETA) have chosen to stage poet Roger McGough’s version at the St Ninian’s Hall, Comely Bank, this week.

The story: Tartuffe is a beacon of piety and in the home of the wealthy merchant Orgon he has his feet firmly under the table.

But all is not as it seems, as Orgon becomes enraptured with his new companion. The whole city is chattering.

Is he a friend? A fraud? A miracle? Or a hypocrite? However, the family smell a rat and hatch a cunning plan to outwit Tartuffe before he brings their house crashing down.

McGough’s adaptation of Tartuffe was first performed in Liverpool in 2008.

Talking about his approach the poet said: “I didn’t take Molière’s original French text with me but a direct prose translation, plus adaptations in verse by the American poet Richard Wilbur, Ranjit Bolt and Christopher Hampton, as well as Liz Lochead’s.”

Tartuffe, St Ninian’s Hall, Comely Bank, until Saturday, 7.30pm (matinee 2.30pm), £10, 07599 928440