sat 25/05/2019

The Misanthrope, Bristol Old Vic | reviews, news & interviews

The Misanthrope, Bristol Old Vic

The Misanthrope, Bristol Old Vic

Human foibles are unchanged in Tony Harrison's refreshed updating

Bitch, boast and gossip: Dorothea Myer-Bennett as Célimène and Simon Armstrong as Alceste in 'The Misanthrope'

When Tony Harrison transposed his version of Molière’s The Misanthrope from the 17th century to the early 1970s, he managed with his characteristic and brilliant combination of savagery and wit to make the play feel totally contemporary. For Andrew Hilton’s new production at the Bristol Old Vic, Harrison has tweaked the play into the 21st century, with characters clutching iPhones and boasting of their connections with Sarkozy. Molière’s masterpiece is about human failings and the reason this classic makes us laugh today is because we recognise ourselves in the characters' parade of foibles.

The most accomplished performance comes from Lucy Black: a blistering portrayal of an insecure middle-aged woman who uses her tongue in defence of her fading looks

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