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Ranjit Bolt's translation of Molière's


August 1st - October 13thFestival TheatreTicket Info
Generally Positive Reviews based on 9 Critics
  • mid 63% of shows in the 2017 season
9 Reviews

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This is a listing for the 2017 season. For the current 2022 shows click here.

The Slotkin Letter - Lynn Slotkin

Rock star of a translator

“The translation is by Ranjit Bolt, a rock star of a translator. The text is very funny. Chris Abraham and his assistant director, Sarah Kitz reviewed other translations and changed lines here and there. They also sprinkled only the best and most damning Trumpisms into the text (with Bolt’s permission), mainly in Act II so we get a clear idea of how Chris Abraham views this most modern of classic satires. The overall affect is hilarious….

I was impressed with Anusree Roy as smarmy Dorine. She stands up to everyone including Tartuffe. Roy is a diminutive, fearless powerhouse.”

Read Full Review08/28/2017

Capital Critics' Circle - Jamie Portman

Abbey is brilliant

“The Stratford Festival’s new production of Moliere’s Tartuffe has company mainstay Graham Abbey delivering one of the best comic performances in this venerable theatre’s history…

Abbey’s brilliant comic timing and quick responsiveness to the barbed humour of Ranjit Bolt’s rhyming-couplet translation delivers hilarity again and again. But it is also a study in character: this is a blockhead so blinkered and self-deceiving that not only is he prepared to give his daughter to Tartuffe in marriage but is ready to bequeath his fortune to him.”

Read Full Review08/30/2017

The Globe and Mail - J. Kelly Nestruck

Shameless, unstoppable comedy

“Molière wrote Tartuffe in alexandrines, rhyming twelve-syllable lines – and most English-language productions, including all of Stratford’s to date, have employed a 1963 version by Richard Wilbur, a classic in its own right, that translated the play into iambic pentameter.

Bolt, however, has distilled Molière’s lines down even further, into rhyming, eight-syllable lines – a rare form of verse known as trochaic octameter. (Think Edgar Allen Poe’s The Raven.)

It’s a genius idea: Though the Bolt lines are two-thirds the length of Molière’s, they feel like they’re in the same time signature – French triplets transformed into English eighth notes.”

Read Full Review08/25/2017

Detroit Free Press - John Monaghan

Amusing but heavy-handed

“The parallels to modern politics are obvious, so maybe it isn’t necessary for director Christopher Abraham to insert Trump-era catch phrases like “fake news,” “alternative facts” and even “covfefe” into the proceedings. We get it already.

Smaller but more honestly earned laughs come from the clever translation, by Ranjit Bolt, which employs some Dr. Seuss-style sing-song.Cast members have fun finishing each other’s lines before the obvious rhyme, and their playfulness is contagious.”

Read Full Review08/27/2017

Broadway World - Lauren Gienow

Hilarious, clever, and frighteningly...

“Abraham has assembled a fine company for this production. Anusree Roy absolutely shines as Dorine, and Rooney’s performance as the disgusting and despicable Tartuffe, actually received playful “boos” from the audience during a standing ovation at the curtain call.

Much of the humour in this production comes from some clever physical comedy, as well as timely references and quotations from politics people and places south of the border.”

Read Full Review08/26/2017

The Toronto Star - Karen Fricker

Tartuffe gets a great update

“Abraham has stacked his cast with great talent all the way down to smaller parts (Johnathan Sousa as Mariane’s suitor, Monice Peter as a harried assistant, Rod Beattie as an unctuous bailiff and E.B. Smith as an officer bringing the final plot twist) and evidently worked long and hard with them to find the comic truth in their characters and exchanges.

The genius of Molière’s play is that he wraps up a potent critique — about how even the most sacred societal institutions (here, the Church).”

Read Full Review08/18/2017

The National Post - Robert Cushman

Abraham throws everything in

“The production suffers, for me at least, from comparison to Laszlo Marton’s superb Soulpepper staging which I described at the time as taking both the play’s farce and its incipient tragedy to the limits. Abraham’s production also goes for the farce but with less finesse, notably in the scene for the two young lovers trying to outdo one another in self-sacrifice. And what are we make of the scene in which Tartuffe rebukes the maid Dorine (Anusree Roy) for the depth of her décolletage?…

Abraham is great at directing high comedy (see The Matchmaker and the central scenes of his Taming of the Shrew) but when he goes low, he gets indiscriminate, just throwing everything in.”

Read Full Review08/29/2017

The Cleveland Plain Dealer - Andrea Simakis

The only one you'll ever need

“The play feels even more au courant, thanks to a few brilliant, tweaks I saw in a preview. (Is it me, or does the king who saves the day sounds a lot like POTUS 45? Who knew something rhymed with covfefe?)…

Directed by Abraham with the wicked wit and masterful slapstick of HBO’s “Veep” – another essential comedy that lampoons hypocrisy in all its forms – this is a “Tartuffe” for the 21st-century. The only one you’ll ever need.”

Read Full Review08/29/2017

The Stratford Beacon Herald - Bruce Urquhart

Vital production brings satire to...

“While blessed with a uniformly stellar cast, the comedy of Abraham’s Tartuffe is bolstered by some seemingly off-the-cuff moments and character touches…

Every element of this production — from designer Julie Fox’s modernist set to the thumping dance music during scene transitions — serves to heighten the sharply written comedy while emphasizing the persistent relevance of its satire.

The laughs are constant — and welcome — but there’s an unsettling truth at its core.”

Read Full Review08/20/2017

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