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Scapin’s Deceits

„ I directed Molière’s play first in 2005 for the request of Chichester Festival, which was founded by Laurence Olivier. The summer season of that year was based on the figures of great theatre magicians, manipulators and jugglers so that is why my choise was Scapin. For me this is one of Molière’s best plays. Its dramaturgical structure is perfect, its style and form is splendid. I usually blot the dramaturgical texts, transpose parts- though I never add to the texts, I do change the order of scenes or dialogues. Even in classical texts! But in the case of this piece there was no need to do this, because here every detail has its own function, so blotting would not help, rather harm the mathematics and musical structure of the text, which seems to me perfect. It is very exciting for me that Molière, towards the end of his life, his profession- after writing his rather scandalous plays like Tartuffe, The Misanthrope and Don Juan- wrote a burlesque comedy. Such a little Italian „farce” which at the same time is a particularly delicate, multi-layered piece. The sad story which can be discovered hidden behind the burlesque is somewhat beautiful. Its language, characters and situations are timeless. The portrayed personalities are commedia dell’ arte masks and at the same time people of flesh and blood, so there are psychological depths in them too. What is magnificant in this play is, that everything is coherent from a deep psychological aspect, while at the same tiume the whole thing happens in the style of a burlesque comedy. It is obvious that there are many references to his own life, just as in his other plays, but here it is very emphatic. Scapin is Molière himself. The artist- with his frustrations, vanity, illusions, failures spiced with lots of self-irony. But one thing is for sure, this is a comedy above all with the purpose of making the audience laugh” 

Silviu Purcărete

(07 November 2013)