Misantrop / The Misanthrope / Der Menschenfeind


The Misanthrope – Molière’s consummate work has a highly topical theme – should one adapt, or protest? This auteur-style adaptation by the Buranteatr develops Molière’s play along contemporary lines and using today’s language. Dramaturg Jan Šotkovský adds: “Alceste, Molière’s protagonist, is a man who sees the society in which he lives as hypocritical, fake, believing in false idols, corrupt and vacuous. This is something that intelligent and sensitive people such as Alceste have been prone to feel in every era, especially an era as self-satisfied as Molière’s – and ours. And Alceste does not keep his opinions to himself – he is happy to to tell them to the face of anyone he sees. Is it not, however, deeply immature to tell everyone I meet how fake and pathetic I consider their life to be?”

About the director of the play "The Misanthrope": Zetel – Director, actor, author. Studied at the Janáček Academy of Arts (JAMU) in Brno, was involved in the creation of the Tramtarie theatre and then worked as an actor in HaDivadlo in Brno. In autumn 2005 he founded the independent theatre Buranteatr (“Yokel Theatre”) where he is artistic head, director and occasional actor. His productions there include The Picture, How to Pick Up a Woman, The Misanthrope, Antonín Huvar, Nasredin, Yokels, November etc. He is the co-author of the plays Lino, The Story of an Ordinary Mafia Man (together with J. Šotkovský), Yokels (together with P. Tlustý) and Antonín Huvar (together with L. Rieger).

Dramaturg Jan Šotkovský and director Zetel have transferred Moliere’s play to contemporary everyday life, updated its language and allowed the company to create their own improvisations. It is a truly welcome adaptation, because although the original play masterfully captures the timeless conflict between the individual and society, unfortunately it is partially beholden to the time of its writing. The florid verse and antiquated atmosphere of the court of Louis XIV may get on the nerves of today’s reader (…). The Brno staging gets rid of the verse and the “courtliness” of the play, but has largely retained the flow of its scenes and, above all, captures all the fundamental themes. They have left the comedy of characters what belongs to it, in other words the provocative versatility and ambivalence of its figures (…) So much for the Molière base, which guarantees the production intellectual consistency and acumen. Over this solid base the production has then elegantly added a journalistic layer, which renders it better able to communicate because it is a thoroughly contemporary spectacle in which many audience members may recognise their bosses or colleagues, and laugh at them heartily. The cathartic effect of this Misanthrope lies in the relief that we feel when we realise that is not just us who see the current dirt, but that someone else is labelling it, publicly, precisely and wittily, in brief – we’re not alone!

Radka Kunderová, Svět a divadlo

It is remarkable to see such a classic theatrical piece “domesticated” in such a full-blooded way. The Brno production of the Misanthrope was created without a text, simply with directed improvisation at rehearsals on the basis of a brief description of the various situations in the original. There is no need to be afraid. What awaits you is Molière in contemporary language and contemporary reality. You will enjoy yourselves hugely. (…) The carefully-developed relationships, intelligibly-created scenes and superb acting, which plays with both the intonation and the silly verbal aesthetics of today, make this theatre into an experience.

Luboš Mareček, MF Dnes
Gruppe / Compagnie / Ensemble
Donnerstag, 13. September 2012
Tschechische Republik
67 min