Review: Tartuffe, Brighton Theatre Royal, until October 22

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THIS WAS a masterful reworking of Moliere’s Tartuffe.

Writer and poet Roger McGough retained the French playwright’s rhyming couplets, while using some of the more modern and unusual rhymes to generate extra laughs.

My particular favourites were morally bankrupt and scheming Tartuffe (Colin Tierney,) who displayed some great physical comedy, loyal/officer (Alan Stocks) who nimbly switched between friendly and extremely menacing and whenever Valere (Hiran Abeysekera) came on the stage everything he said and did made me guffaw with laughter.

Tartuffe, adapted by well known Liverpudlian poet McGough, was very funny, with several gags a minute and fast moving.

The characters evoked such a strong feeling of frustration in you when they were duped by the Machiavellian Tartuffe, you were almost shouting at them to wake up and smell the coffee.

And you will find yourself cheering on those who see through him and try to unmask L’Imposteur, but he’s as slippery as an eel that one.

The satirical comedy was originally written in 1664, but has lost none of its bite.

The central character Tartuffe is a con man, pretending to be religious and virtuous in order to cloak the fact that he is on the take.

No wonder the Archbishop of Paris persuaded the King to ban the play after its first performance and threatened anyone who read it, saw it or acted in it with excommunication.

There’s nothing like hell fire and damnation to make you decide to spend your free time in another way.

Finally it makes you think, about people who might make a big show of being honest and upstanding, but who in reality use this to hide their true nature.

It’s not often you get laugh out loud funny and thought provoking in the same package - go and see it.