Excuse Our French: The £40 Theatre Company Take On TARTUFFE
The £40 Theatre Company returns to the Bent Brief this week with their rendition of Tartuffe, a production which marks their tenth annual charity pantomime. Adapted and directed by Southampton […]
The £40 Theatre Company returns to the Bent Brief this week with their rendition of Tartuffe, a production which marks their tenth annual charity pantomime. Adapted and directed by Southampton University English lecturer Julie Campbell, this hyperbolic version of the satirical Molière classic is a comic extravaganza with choral numbers, couplets and a whole lot of cross-dressing.
Written in 1664, Tartuffeis Molière’s controversial take on the dangers of religious fanaticism. It tells the story of the wealthy Orgon and his family, who welcome the seemingly pious and holier-than-thou Tartuffe into their lives, only to then be conned by his devious and dishonest ways.
Leading man Jordan Moran took centre stage as Tartuffe. His beard stroking and evil laugh truly captured the villainous nature of the role, combined with a lecherous reverence which had the audience in stitches from the start. Nathan Stafford-King was a true queen of seduction as Orgon’s wife Elmira. He reacted to Tartuffe’s overt advances in a hilariously provocative manner, never once slipping out of character, whilst Ross Johnson’s comedic portrayal of Orgon’s elderly mother Mme Upright was comparable to a French Acorn Antiques’ Mrs Overall.
Special mentions must also go to James O’Toole (Damis) for his true to life display of a stroppy teenage son, Lydia Charles (Valèra) for her valiant French accent, and Bob ‘£40’ Stansbridge (Cléante) for injecting an extraordinary amount of enthusiasm as well as a mouth organ into the production!
As is the £40 norm, several musical numbers were also involved, including live guitar music from Sarah Harrison (Marianne) and a brilliant parody of Mary Wells’ My Guy which included the genius line ‘he’s a piece of merde, you take my word, that’s Tartuffe’. Do excuse my French.
Great fun was had by all, and ticket sales plus a raffle and auction have so far raised over £2,000 in aid of the Multiple Sclerosis Trust, Women’s Aid and local care home charity Brendoncare.
The final performance of Tartuffe will take place tonight (Saturday 15th) at the Bent Brief, at 7.15pm.