'Tartuffe' (Molière)

THOK (National Theatre of Cyprus), Nicosia and Island tour 1997

Directed by Alkis Kritikos
Designed by David Burrows

For all the images please scroll to the right ........

Act One. Madame Pernelle berating her son Orgon's household prior to her hasty and angry departure. She has disturbed everyone from their sleep, apart from Dorine the housekeeper and Cléante who has gone out for an early morning round of golf. In the third picture, reading from the left are Marianne, Elmire, Mme Pernelle, Dorine and Damis. The set consisted of eight trucks in total, four of which comprised the main set of Acts One and Five, which were identical.

The first picture is taken from the centre of the theatre. The fourth and fifth, taken from the right and left hand sides of the auditorium, reveal the extreme sightlines in the theatre which was originally designed as a concert hall. There are plans afoot to develop a new major theatre for the THOK company. In 1997 a purpose built, well equipped, new studio theatre was completed and opened with a production of 'Da'.

Act Two. The change between each act was executed in a blue mirror balled light - it became a kind of ballet of trucks. The part solid, part skeletal nature of the set's construction meant that each change was very difficult to see and thus unpredictable until the next scene's lighting state was established.

This is the act when Orgon tries to persuade his daughter of the virtue of marrying the villain, Tartuffe, but is overheard by Dorine. In our version Dorine is about to start hoovering the corridor adjacent to that where Orgon is having his private conversation with Marianne. Throughout the play Dorine's work provides an ongoing background to the unfolding drama. Valère, Marianne's real intended, makes his entrance through the stage left doorway.

Acts Three and Four. The basic set for Acts One and Five rotates to form an upstairs/downstairs setting of Dorine's kitchen (Act Three), with Elmire's dressing room above as she prepares for her meeting with Tartuffe.

Act Four, the famous table scene, is set in the drawing room after dinner the same evening. The men have retired to smoke and drink their after dinner brandies but are rudely interrupted by the deputation of Elmire, Dorine and Marianne who plead with Orgon to change his mind over giving his daughter's hand to Tartuffe in marriage.

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