A detailed introduction to Molière and his plays, this Companion evokes his own theatrical career, his theatres, patrons, the performers and theatre staff with whom he worked, and the various publics he and his troupes entertained with such success. It looks at his particular brands of comedy and satire. L'École des femmes, Le Tartuffe, Dom Juan, Le Misanthrope, L'Avare and Les Femmes savantes are examined from a variety of different viewpoints, and through the eyes of different ages and cultures. The comedies-ballets, a genre invented by Molière and his collaborators, are re-instated to the central position which they held in his œuvre in Molière's own lifetime; his two masterpieces in this genre, Le Bourgeois gentilhomme and Le Malade imaginaire, have chapters to themselves. Finally, the Companion looks at modern directors' theatre, exploring the central role played by productions of his work in successive 'revolutions' in the dramatic arts in France.
• Analyses performance as well as text, providing information relevant to playgoers and theatre professionals as well as to students and general readers • The bibliography is divided into key sections, allowing readers to find relevant material easily • Includes a detailed chronology and nineteen illustrations
Preface; Acknowledgements; Chronology; 1. The career strategy of an actor turned playwright: 'de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace' Marie-Claude Canova-Green; 2. The material conditions of Molière's stage Jan Clarke; 3. The master and the mirror: Scaramouche and Molière Stephen Knapper; 4. Molière as satirist Larry F. Norman; 5. How (and why) not to take Molière too seriously Richard Parish; 6. L'Avare or Harpagon's masterclass in comedy Robert McBride; 7. Laughter and irony in Le Misanthrope Andrew Calder; 8. Comédies-ballets Charles Mazouer; 9. Le Bourgeois gentilhomme: Molière and music John S. Powell; 10. Medicine and entertainment in Le Malade imaginaire Julia Prest; 11. Molière and the teaching of Frenchness: Les Femmes savantes as a case study Ralph Albanese, Jr; 12. L'École des femmes: matrimony and the laws of chance Roxanne Lalande; 13. Molière nationalised: Tartuffe on the British stage from the Restoration to the present day Noël Peacock; 14. Landmark twentieth-century productions of Molière: a transatlantic perspective on Molière: mise en scène and its historiography Jim Carmody; 15. Dom Juan: the directors' play David Whitton; 16. 'Reculer pour mieux sauter': modern experimental theatre's debt to Molière David Bradby; Select bibliography.