Direction: Ivo van Hove
German translation: Hans Weigel
Alceste believes in truth and loyalty and confronts his fellow men with an uncompromising candour. Despite his suspicions that all humanity is flawed and hypocritical, he loves the young coquette, Célimène, who is adored and feted by society. Alceste is jealous of Célimène‹s suitors and wants her to commit herself to him alone. He fails to realise that the world is no longer based on the traditional values he still holds dear. For Célimène and the others, the stability of the family no longer exists – no father, no mother, no brother, no sister. The concept of a job for life has become outmoded. People now live in new social groupings, made up of autonomous individuals, who are terrified of letting themselves go. As they desperately try to preserve their emotional and financial independence, they are searching for a partner for their present-tense life; certainly not for an old-fashioned ’partner for life‹. As the evidence of Célimène‹s multiple infidelities begins to accumulate, Alceste‹s demands become increasingly destructive.
Molière‹s play presents the portrait of a society in transition and of a man who, despite his discomfort, neither can, nor wants to, change.
Ivo van Hove was artistic director of the Holland Festival from 1998 to 2004 and has been the artistic director of the Toneelgroep Amsterdam since 2001. Productions include Shakespeare‹s »Roman Tragedies« (invited to the Wiener Festwochen, 2008), Viscontis »Rocco and his Brothers« (invited to Ruhrtriennale, 2008), Cassavetes’ »Opening Night« and in 2010 Passolini‹s »Teorema«, a co-production with the Ruhrtriennale. »The Misanthrope« is van Hoves first production in Berlin.
Duration: ca. 120 minutes
Premiered on 19 September 2010
Paris (March/April 2012)