In 2013, English Theatre Artistic Director Jillian Keiley opened her first season at the National Arts Centre with the Molière’s classic Tartuffe, playfully adapted for pre-confederate Newfoundland, complete with sharp wit and biting satire courtesy of Andy Jones. This fall, as part of Canada’s sesquicentennial, NAC English Theatre takes this smash-hit back from whence it came!
Bringing together a stellar cast featuring some of the original 2013/14 Ensemble and actors familiar to Newfoundland audiences, including Greg Malone (CODCO) as Madame Pernelle and Robert Joy (CSI:NY) in the title role of Tartuffe, this production marks the first tour for NAC English Theatre since 1998. Tartuffe will take to the road in Newfoundland for a six-performance, five-city tour in September and October.
“NAC English Theatre already brings great artists from across the country to our national stage, however it’s our aim to serve audiences from outside our nation’s capital as well,” said Ms Keiley. “Until now only the NAC Orchestra has had the opportunity to play for Newfoundland audiences. What better introduction to NAC Theatre than to take a production there that has our own master of comedy Andy Jones at the helm. Our Ottawa audiences really went wild for Andy’s Tartuffe, but Newfoundlanders have a love for our own language and turn of phrase that is ours alone. The very first version of this translation happened in Cupids a few years ago and I can’t help but note that while mainlanders delighted in this piece, Newfoundlanders actually revelled in it. It’s such a pleasure to play this show to people from home.”
Molière’s comedy classic is ingeniously re-imagined in Andy Jones’ riotous adaptation, set in 1939 Newfoundland. This Tartuffe is two hours of insanely brilliant showmanship that is witty, cutting and fierce. A blazingly funny exploration of religious hypocrisy – with a salty and distinctive Newfoundland flavor. Starting out at a slow boil, the show quickly roils into a steaming, rollicking love-fest, leaving audiences hiccupping with laughter.
By taking the homeless and holy-seeming Tartuffe under his roof, wealthy merchant Orgon thinks he is harboring a pillar of piety. But in fact, Orgon is the one who has been taken in by a ruthless hypocrite and con artist. With Orgon determined to marry off his daughter to Tartuffe – and blind to the latter’s lecherous designs on his wife – it’s up to the rest of the household to expose the fraudster. But revealing the truth, it turns out, entails dangers of its own.
Presented by the Arts & Culture Centre in partnership with Canada’s National Arts Centre
Tartuffe was co-commissioned by Canada’s National Arts Centre and New World Theatre Project in Cupids, NL.
This production of Tartuffe received its premiere at Canada’s National Arts Centre in 2013, as part of the NAC English Theatre 2013/14 season.