Bell Shakespeare has launched its first production for 2019, featuring the return of John Bell to the fold in his first role with the Company since he stepped away at the end of 2015.
Taking on the titular role in Molière’s The Miser, John Bell will play wealthy skinflint Harpagon, a stingy money-lender who is prepared to sacrifice his children and his dignity to come out on top.
Peter Evans, Artistic Director of Bell Shakespeare, will direct The Miser, a ribald comedy of manners first performed in 1668. The play is another well-known satire by the playwright known for classics such as Tartuffe and The Misanthrope.
This delicious adaptation of the classic comedy will be translated by Australian playwright Justin Fleming (School for Wives, The Literati, Tartuffe and The Misanthrope) and will explore the depth of human greed, lust and manipulation.
Announcing the production, Mr Evans said, “In 2014 I had the great joy of directing Tartuffe. Having been a long time Molière fan, bringing his sharp humour to Bell Shakespeare audiences at the Sydney Opera House was a delight.
“Since then I have been waiting for the right time, the right play, and the right cast to revel in Molière’s artistry again. John Bell as the Miser was just too tantalising to resist.
“Having the opportunity to invite back our Founding Director to Bell Shakespeare, in a role that will have you laughing in the aisles, if not a little scandalised by the naughtiness of Justin Fleming’s translation, is a pleasure.
“The Miser is a play about family dynamics and greed. It’s about the power of money – and those who are seduced by it. It’s a tale as old as time, and one that we continue to see played out to this day.
“I look forward to realising this contemporary version, full of Justin Fleming’s wit, John Bell’s immaculate timing, and a cast of talented actors and creatives bringing you an uproarious night in the theatre!” he said.
Tickets to The Miser are exclusively available to Bell Shakespeare Members now and go on sale to the general public from November 2018.
The Miser will play at Sydney Opera House from 2 March – 6 April 2019; Canberra Theatre Centre from 11 – 20 April 2019; and Arts Centre Melbourne from 25 April – 12 May 2019.
Source: Bell Shakespeare