Duration: 2 hours 35 minutes (no intermission)
As strange as it could seem, it is as if I had discovered Molière by reading L’Avare again. I have been struck by its beautiful prose, the comic fierceness of a play in which even if the farce is not far, it makes relationships’ bitterness and issues’ roughness even harder.
In the middle of the plot, cupidity, that is to say withholding. The issue is not about a lack of money, it is more about the lack of monetary movement. The function of money is to pay, and here it has lost this function. It seems to have become the target of a mortiferous worshipping. Everything can be sacrificed for money, since nothing else matters, there is no value, and no price... except for money of course. For this new moral, there is one imperative, categorical as one might expect: odorless, invisible, money must produce even more money. Without any profit for anybody but the Avare as his good is precisely money which has no function except to make him crave for it.
Thus in this great gap between the massive accumulation of money on one hand and the lack, experienced and endured, of any exchange of money on the other hand, it is the whole micro-society ruled by cupidity which is disturbed and literally gets driven by panic: money has to be found at any cost, since factious shortage has become the only shared reality.
It seems that we never get out of this, neither masters nor servants, for the father as for his children; everything gravitates around this money built as an obsession.
Unsurprisingly, love is not spared. Every man for himself!
It is hard to link Molière’s play to the 17th century only... but it would be interesting because cupidity has never been easy to admit, no more yesterday then today. Despite this it has crossed the centuries, and if we think of Balzac’s character Le Père Grandet, a Don De Lillo could tell us its story. The story of a mystic worshipper, ascetic and ill because of money, money which makes us dream more than ever, which we miss, which makes us suffer or makes us obsessed.
It is with Laurent Poitrenaux, Christèle Tual, Julien Storini and the Nouveau Collectif de la Comédie, Marion Barché, Myrtille Bordier, Louise Dupuis, Alexandre Pallu and Tom Politano that we get close to this familiar Avare, far too paranoid and sadistic to be simply grotesque, and this society under crisis which he controls, where money rules like a despot. Without any wig nor candlestick.
Ludovic Lagarde, stage director
Ludovic Lagarde was born in 1962 in Paris. He realized his first stage directions at the Comédie de Reims and at the Théâtre Granit in Belfort. His first collaboration with Olivier Cadiot goes back to 1993, when he asked him for a play, Soeurs et frères, created at the Théâtre Granit in Belfort. From 1997 onwards, he has adapted and directed the writer’s last books: Le Colonel des Zouaves (1997), Retour défi nitif et durable de l’être aimé and Fairy Queen. In 2008, he directed the opera Roméo et Juliette by Pascal Dusapin at the Opéra Comique and Massacre by Wolfgang Mitterer at the São João Theatre in Porto and at the Strasbourg’s Musica festival.
Since January 2009, Ludovic Lagarde is director of the Comédie de Reims. In March 2010, he creates there Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights by Gertrude Stein with the musician Rodolphe Burger. For the Avignon Festival in 2010, he creates Un nid pour quoi faire and Un mage en été by Olivier Cadiot. In January 2012, Ludovic Lagarde shows a Georg Büchner trilogy – Woyzech, La Mort de Danton, Léonce et Léna – at the Comédie de Reims, then performed in January 3013 at the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris. In March 2013, he directs La Voix Humaine by Jean Cocteau at the Grand Théâtre du Luxembourg and at the Opéra-Comique.
He creates Lear is in Town for the 67th Avignon Festival, adapted from King Lear by William Shakespeare, translated by Frédéric Boyer and Olivier Cadiot. In 2014, he stages Le Regard du nageur, written and performed by Christèle Tual, he directs Greek actors in Quai Ouest at the National Theater of Greece, and he creates L’Avare by Molière at the Comédie de Reims. In 2015, he creates La Baraque, by Aiat Fayez, in the frame of Reims Scènes d’Europe Festival.
In 2016, he will stage Marta by Wolfgang Mitterer at the Opéra de Lille and will direct Laurent Poitrenaux and Clotilde Hesme in Providence, by Olivier Cadiot.
Stage Direction丨Ludovic Lagarde
With Laurent Poitrenaux, Christèle Tual, Julien Storini, Alexandre Pallu, Marion Barché, Tom Politano, Myrtille Bordier, Louise Dupuis and Élie Chapus, Zacharie Jourdain, Élodie Leau, Antonin Totot, Gwenaëlle Vaudin, Charline Voinet
With the participation of Jean-Luc Briand
Stage Design丨Antoine Vasseur
Costumes丨Marie La Rocca
Makeup and Hairdressing丨Cécile Kretschmar
Assistant to the stage direction 丨Céline Gaudier
General stage management Jean-Luc Briand
Production丨La Comédie de Reims–CDN