The Misanthrope, Bury St Edmunds

FRANK CLIFF Molière's Misanthrope has the slenderest of plots; it is really a telling portrait of a hypocritical society and, as such, is timeless.

FRANK CLIFF

Molière's Misanthrope has the slenderest of plots; it is really a telling portrait of a hypocritical society and, as such, is timeless.

Colin Blumenau's production, which plays for a week before a national tour, uses the verse translation by Tony Harrison originally commissioned for the National Theatre in 1973.

While Molière satirised court society, it is a contemporary society party we witness, where the guests dress in 17th century costume, and there is no difficulty translating the hypocrisy and vice from then to the present.

Harrison's brilliant translation brings the biting humour of the play vividly to life.

The cast was splendid, especially the fine central performances from Jonathan Keeble as Alceste and Amber Edlin as coquette Celimène. As the audience warmed to them, so they increased in stature, producing a marvellous evening's theatre.

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t The Misanthrope continues at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds, until September 21. Box office: 01284 769505.