Thursday, November 8, 2012

1668 Play Lifts My Mood

I’m an emotional creature; my moods dictate my activities for days and nights – when I’m not being paid. Most of the time, regardless of my mood – I’d rather be on my own. 

That being said, I’m working on breaking this habit and forcing myself to “go out there” even when I’d rather lie on my bed and read a book. I was in such a horrid mood when I dragged myself to go watch Moliere’s The Miser at the Market Theatre recently. 

To meet my moods half way I didn't invite a friend and so I was still alone but yet with people. The play, originally written when French monarchs ruled in 1668, is relevant to our times. 

The main character, Harpagon, is a wealthy loan shark whose love for money is as powerful as his stingy ways. He has two children; daughter and son who don’t understand his way.

Harpagon played by Lionel Newton    Pictures by: Ruphin Coudyzer 

They know that they are wealthy and that their father is stingy and mean but they don’t seem to know how he acquired this money. Harpagon is so stingy he never uses the word “give” but would rather say “loan” when you ask money from him. 

His ‘servants’ seem to have gone a bit insane because of his cruelty and weird ways. The twist is when he woes a young woman but doesn't know that his son is in love with the same woman. 

Harpagon’s prerequisite for a wife is that she doesn't like shiny things and spending money. She should be happy in the condition she is currently in and not be interested in improving. 

Harpagon wants all the pleasures of life but doesn't want to pay for them. He is the kind of man whose idea of relaxing is to sit where he has hid his money and just watch it. 

A scene from the play.        Pictures by Ruphin Coudyzer 

The play is hilarious. The music, set, lighting and cast – all were in sync. 

Although the English a bit old school, they did try to localise it. I loved how the cast used their body language to help tell the story. Most actions were exaggerated, which added to the humour. 

Atandwa Kani and Kate Liquorish in character.  Pictures by Ruphin Coudyzer 

It stars Atandwa Kani, the legendary John Kani’s son. Atandwa is truly his father’s son. He is an amazing actor. 

And it was really great spotting his father in the audience – I had to hold back my groupie moment. The play is a bit long hence there is a break. 

I walked out of the theatre all smiles and not at all grumpy. I feel this is what going out should be about – spirit lifting.

The show is on at The Market Theatre until 9 December 2012. I recommend you make time to watch it and lets chat about your thoughts on it. 

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