Mocking morals and manners

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Following the huge successes of their collaboration on Tartuffe and The Hypochondriac, English Touring Theatre and Liverpool Playhouse complete a trilogy of Roger McGough adaptations of classic Molière comedies with The Misanthrope, which visits Theatre Royal, Brighton, for a week long run from Tuesday, April 30, to Saturday, May 4.

The team reunites McGough with Everyman and Playhouse Artistic Director Gemma Bodinetz, who will direct this co-production with ETT.

Master wordsmith Roger McGough dips his quill into what many consider to be Molière’s best work in this mockery of manners and morals set amid 17th century French aristocracy. Poet Alceste is disgusted with French society.

Powdered fops gossip in code and be-jewelled coquettes whisper behind fans wherever he looks. In pursuit of honesty, he embarks on a one-man crusade against forked-tongues, frippery and fakery.

But could the woman he has fallen in love with be the worst culprit of all?

Alceste is played by Colin Tierney. The cast includes Neil Caple, Simon Coates, Leander Deeny, Daniel Goode, Alison Pargeter, George Potts, Zara Tempest-Walters and Harvey Virdi.

Roger McGough began writing poetry at University. After four years of teaching he joined up with John Gorman and Michael McCartney to form The Scaffold.

The author of more than fifty books, he is an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University and an Honorary Professor at Thames Valley University, and has D.Litts from the universities of Liverpool, Hull and Roehampton. In 2001 he was honoured with the Freedom of the City of Liverpool, along with Brian Patten and Adrian Henri, and in 2004 he was awarded a CBE for services to literature. His latest poetry volume, published in 2012, is As Far As I Know, and, for children, All The Best, The Bees’ Knees and now Slapstick.

Director Gemma Bodinetz took up her post as Artistic Director for the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse in September 2003. Since then, she has directed Macbeth, The Kindness of Strangers, The Mayor of Zalamea and Intemperance at the Everyman; A Streetcar Named Desire, No Wise Men, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Lady of Leisure, All My Sons, Tartuffe and The Hypochondriac at the Playhouse and Yellowman on tour.

English Touring Theatre is a powerhouse of touring theatre, working with many of the country’s leading and emerging artists to stage thrilling and ambitious theatre that is vigorous and entertaining.

To book tickets call 0844 871 7650 or visit (booking fee applies).

Tickets: £10 to £25.

Evening performances take place at 7.45pm. Thursday and Saturday matinees start 2.30pm.