Last week, Jourdelay’s House (ABH), under the direction of RSH and CC, presented Molière’s Tartuffe in the Caccia Studio. In this production, pupils masterfully captured the themes of class and status, whilst leaving the audience in suspense about the real villain at the heart of the story.
The play is set in Islington, where we meet Orgon and Tartuffe, the seemingly-religious man Orgon welcomes into his home. The set consisted of only one large couch, chair and storage closet (which allowed for much comedic potential) but was the perfect foil for this classic story.
In the opening scene, Tartuffe (portrayed brilliantly by Atan H) enters the stage and begins to hand out roses to members of the audience as he slowly beats his chest, letting the audience know that this will not be an average play!
As the story begins to unfold, Orgon emerges as a naïve and trusting man who has such faith in Tartuffe that he invites the homeless man into his home, where he drinks and eats and eventually falls in love with Orgon’s wife, Elmire. Though Tartuffe’s love and desire for Elmire slowly turns more grotesque as we learn the truth of his character, his religious piety similarly unravelling as he becomes lustful and dishonest.
Orgon and his wife Elmire (played by Adam W and Oona G) both gave incredible performances. Throughout the play, we see Orgon struggle to keep his household together under the influence of Tartuffe. When he is revealed to be a charlatan, Orgon’s world is shattered, and his heart broken. As Orgon struggles to find himself, his wife Elmire struggles to hold their marriage together whilst simultaneously evading Tartuffe’s advances.
It was clear that the brilliance of the backstage crew was key to the success of this production. From the bars of flashing lights that throb as the play opens, to the live piano played to indicate each changing scene, the crew demonstrated that a play is only as good as those who support backstage.
A truly incredible play with stunning performances, which left the audience in the Caccia Studio humming with amusement and delight. Bravo to all involved!