As the Playhouse’s recent production of Alan Aykbourn’s Norman Conquest showed, the theatre knows good things happen in threes.
And so, following the huge successes of Tartuffe and The Hypochondriac, the venue will complete a trilogy of Roger McGough adaptations of classic Molière comedies with The Misanthrope in spring 2013.
The ‘McGoughière’ team will be reunited with Everyman and Playhouse artistic director Gemma Bodinetz directing this co-production with English Touring Theatre. The Misanthrope premières at the Liverpool Playhouse in February 2013 before a national tour.
Gemma Bodinetz said: “The Misanthrope is widely regarded to be one of Molière’s great plays and deals with a man who makes a decision to always tell the truth whatever the consequences. It is a play that looks at the tightrope we all teeter upon between kindness and devastating honesty and asks the question with sometimes hilarious and moving results: Is honesty always the best policy?
“Roger and I have loved working together on our previous productions of Molière’s work, Tartuffe and The Hypochondriac, and have seen our joy reflected in the response from audiences both here in Liverpool and all around the country. This production will begin in Liverpool at the Playhouse and will then tour the country thanks to our co-producers ETT.”
Rachel Tackley, Director of English Touring Theatre, said: “We are delighted to be working with Roger and our friends at Liverpool again on this exciting project. Our audiences will be thrilled to see a new Moliere from Roger and Gemma.”
‘Liverpool’s Poet Laureate’ Roger McGough’s first adaptation of Molière, Tartuffe, was one of Capital of Culture Year’s smash-hit productions and re-toured with ETT in autumn 2011. A second McGoughière in 2009, The Hypochondriac, premièred at the Playhouse prior to a tour of the UK with ETT, and now The Misanthrope will complete a tricolor of farces adapted by McGough.
Born in Litherland, Roger McGough began writing poetry at university. After four years of teaching he joined up with John Gorman and Michael McCartney to form The Scaffold. The author of more than fifty books, he is an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University and an Honorary Professor at Thames Valley University, and has D.Litts from the universities of Liverpool, Hull and Roehampton.
In 2001 he was honoured with the Freedom of the City of Liverpool, along with Brian Patten and Adrian Henri, and in 2004 he was awarded a CBE for services to literature. His latest poetry volume is That Awkward Age and, for children, All The Best, The Bees’ Knees and now Slapstick.
Director Gemma Bodinetz took up her post as artistic director for the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse in September 2003. Since then, she has directed Macbeth, The Kindness of Strangers, The Mayor of Zalamea and Intemperance at the Everyman; A Streetcar Named Desire, No Wise Men, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Lady of Leisure, All My Sons, Tartuffe and The Hypochondriac at the Playhouse and Yellowman on tour. Gemma previously worked at the Royal Court Theatre and Hampstead Theatre, London.
English Touring Theatre is a powerhouse of touring theatre, working with many of the country’s leading and emerging artists to stage thrilling and ambitious theatre that is vigorous and entertaining.