Actor Ryan Donaldon as Tartuffe in the Abbey’s hilarious new production of ‘TARTUFFE’ touring to the Lime Tree Theatre this April
TARTUFFE comes to the Lime Tree Theatre from Wednesday, 12th April to Saturday, 15th April, fresh from its world premiere on the Abbey stage of the national theatre
Spectacular dramatic comedy, fresh from its world premiere on the Abbey stage of the national theatre, comes to the Lime Tree Theatre from Wednesday, 12th April to Saturday, 15th April, where the villainous Tartuffe shocks and enthrals audiences with his deceptive powers.
In a new version of Molière’s Tartuffe retold for 2023 by Irish writer Frank McGuinness, directed by Artistic Director of the National Theatre, Caitríona McLaughlin, the 17th century classic is given an audacious contemporary makeover. The production sees truth face off with deceit before unveiling who has the last laugh.
Tartuffe, a sanctimonious scoundrel who, professing extreme piety, is taken into the household of Orgon, a wealthy man. Under the guise of ministering to the family’s spiritual and moral needs, he almost destroys Orgon’s family. Elmire, Orgon’s wife sees through Tartuffe’s wicked hypocrisy and exposes him.
Like Tartuffe, and much like it was four hundred years ago when the play was originally set, we ostentatiously perform our virtue, doing so today on social media. Like the man Tartuffe dupes in the play, Orgon, we are blinded by admiration for those that perform their virtue the most dazzlingly.
Director of the show and Artistic Director of the Abbey Theatre, Caitriona McLaughlin says, “It’s basically Twitter in periwigs; brutal and hilarious.”
The production stars Ryan Donaldson as Tartuffe [London-based Lisburn man who is known for his screen roles in The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016), Killing Eve (2018) and Stumbling (2022)] alongside Irish acting stage and screen star Frank McCusker, who plays the tormented Orgon [known for his screen roles in Hunger, Inside I’m dancing, Affair of the Necklace and Penny Dreadful]. Elmire is played by played by Aislín McGuckan, best known as Dr Liz Merrick in ITV’s Heartbeat, Outlander and RTE/ BBC’s hit TV show Normal People.
“Molière skewered the hypocrisy and sanctimony of the French court of the sixteenth century with Tartuffe, but he’s actually writing about the same impulses that still drive much of our discourse online today,” adds McLaughlin.
Visually, the stage setting and costumes will be a magnificent draw to this play. The lavish creations designed by multi-award-winning designer Katie Davenport alone will be worth seeing this stage production for such a visual spectacle. Charming to some, a danger to others, one family risks losing everything if Tartuffe gets his way. This opulent staging is must-see for the 2023 cultural calendar.