literary adaptation of the play in original language L’Amour Médecin by Molière
classic play in French language
target audience: junior and senior high school students
Molière, pseudonym of Jean-Baptiste Poquelin (Paris 1622-1673), is a French playwright and writer.
He was the son of a rich Parisian bourgeois who had destined him for a legal career. In 1643 he decided to disregard the will of his father and dedicate himself to the theatre. Under the name of Molière he founded and directed, together with his lover Madeleine Béjart and some of his relatives, the “Illustre Théâtre”. The theatre company debuted in Paris the following year under the protection of His Royal Highness Gaston d’Orléans. That was the beginning of the career of the most versatile and acute interpreter of the French comedy. In 1646 he joined a company of errant comedians until he settled in Paris in 1658 where he performed in front of the King. In 1665 the King demonstrated his protection by designating Molière’s company as the one entitled to entertain the Court. In 1673 he died of a heart attack while acting “Le Malade Imaginaire”. Almost all his works – about thirty – have a unique style with humorous situations arising from his sharp representation of French society in his time. His trenchant satire is directed at the upper class, including doctors, for example, who turn out to be charlatans. Born from the observation of his contemporaries, Molière’s characters take on a universal meaning and become archetypes.
- Les Précieuses Ridicules (1659)
- L’Ecole Des Maris (1661)
- L’Ecole Des Femmes (1662)
- Tartuffe (1664)
- Dom Juan ou le Festin de Pierre (1665)
- L’Amour Médecin (1665)
- Le Misanthrope (1666)
- Amphitryon (1668)
- L’Avare (1668)
- Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme (1670)
- Le Malade Imaginaire (1673)
L’Amour Médecin is a romantic comedy that was performed for the first time in Versailles on 15 September 1665. It is the story of Sganarelle and her daughter Lucinde, who is affected by “love sickness”, a great melancholy that cannot be cured . The girl refuses to talk and to eat. She cries all day. The words of her very compassionate maid Lisette provide some comfort . Lisette convinces Sganarelle that her daughter is seriously ill. The worried father asks for the advice of the best doctors in town, but they cannot find an agreement on the diagnosis. Lisette deceives her father by making him believe that even Clitandre – Lucinde’s lover and already rejected by Sganarelle as a possible suitor – is a doctor having miraculous remedies. The young doctor suggests that he should meet Lucinde’s wishes and organize a fake wedding ceremony. But the wedding is actually celebrated and …
With this setting of L’Amour Médecin, director Gérald Dumont (Notre-Dame de Paris, Cyrano de Bergerac, Le Comte de Monte-Cristo, Le Petit Prince, La Belle et La Bête, Arsène Lupine) offers the Italian students a contemporary re-elaboration in the “commedia dell’arte” style: painted backdrops, curtains, perspectives are used to generate the ideal place for Sganarelle to retain his daughter Lucinde . Curtains, velvets and delicate colors characterize the finely decorated interiors of the house, while the outdoor scenes are set in a well-kept garden. The elements , which are part of the scene, are changed and maneuvered by the actors under the eyes of the spectators . This creates engaging moments of great visual impact. The lighting system revolves around its core, the light bulb, thus generating an unexpected and peculiar atmosphere: limelights illuminate the scene, while romantic suspended lamps are used to create indoor or outdoor lighting , from chandeliers to a beautiful starry sky. The costumes are consistent to the same artistic idea: they are a modern and refined reworking of the costumes described in Molière’s texts and that have been used for the representations of his comedies over the years. In this case some characteristics of the costumes are emphasized in order to convey the personality traits of the characters, to facility the students’ understanding and to enhance the overall aesthetic of the theatrical staging.
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