Molière’s The Miser

The Miser is an adaptation of Molière’s 1668 text, telling the story of how the children of Harpagon overcome their father’s close-fisted nature to pursue their partners whom they are invested in purely out of love, rather than the financial elements so pushed by Harpagon himself.

The adaptation and translation are fantastic. It maintains the decidedly French style of humour which is so distinctive throughout Molière’s comedy, but brings it up to date: it includes elements of physical comedy, executed brilliantly by the cast, but maintains the characteristics of the original characters, all of whom are larger-than-life stereotypes played very well throughout.

Harpagon is to be commended particularly in this way. His vivacity as the Miser was fantastic throughout, and his almost pantomime characterisation provided the audience with a large amount of comedy.

However, the strongest element of this production may be the music, an original composition performed live with a synth and a box drum. The playing did not feel as if it was intrusive on the scene, which could easily have been the case, but instead was a necessary backdrop to the sections of exposition which are unavoidable as central to Molière’s narrative.

These sections were also made much easier to watch by the chorus of actors surrounding the stage at all times. They maintained the energy of the show fantastically, and gave the leads plenty to bounce off, becoming a welcome addition to Molière’s text. They helped to allow the comedy to be moved forward to a modern audience in a great way.

The design of the show must also be highly commended: the costumes instantly create an atmosphere and the “masks” drawn on with face paint create a nice effect.

This show is well worth a watch- accessible to all, fun, and full of laughs.

Molière’s The Miser is running until the 18th August at 12:15 at +3, C Venues.

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Max Prentice

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