Molière’s ‘The Miser’ premieres with a Dutch Caribbean cast

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A post by Peter Jordens.

Dutch production company Van Engelenburg brings Molière’s comedic play The Miser back to Dutch theater, but this time with a completely Surinamese-Antillean cast – a first in Dutch theater history. The play, directed by Hans van Hechten, will have its official premiere on February 23, 2015 at the Amsterdam City Theater. Tryouts have been staged at the Dakota Theater in The Hague on February 4 and at the Ludens Theater in Voorburg on February 5, while the play will continue to tour The Netherlands through May 2015.

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Director Hans van Hechten explains the idea: “Van Engelenburg and I want to give black actors a chance to perform in a classic play. They tend to be cast only in urban productions or if the script specifically requires it. That’s a shame. Moreover, I want to show that the themes of The Miser are still very topical, for one and all. By breaking certain stereotypes (for example: the white capitalist), one accentuates the universality of the play. Also, we discovered during the auditions that the flair of Surinamese-Antillean actors matches Molière’s style quite well, as it requires a significant degree of natural acting and especially a lot of humor.”

The Miser (L’Avare ou l’École du mensonge, 1668), written by French playwright, director and actor Jean-Baptiste Poquelin or Molière (1622-1673), is about greed and selfishness. Money is all that matters to Harpagon – a father who rules his family with an iron hand. Money dominates all the relationships within the family. When Harpagon wants to marry his son’s girlfriend only to safeguard his family wealth, father and son come to face one another squarely as rivals. […]

The Miser [in Dutch: De Vrek]

Directed by: Hans van Hechten

Cast: Kenneth Herdigein, Sergio Hasselbaink, Rogier Komproe, Maikel van Hetten, Imanuelle Grives, Shertise Solano and Michiel Blankwaardt

Editing and translation: Hans van Hechten in cooperation with Karlijn Stoffels

Dramaturgy: Jenny Mijnhijmer

Music: Mattie Poels

Décor: Elze van den Akker

Producer: Henrike van Engelenburg

Premiere: February 23, 2015, Amsterdam City Theatre

For the original article (in Dutch), go to http://www.vetheater.nl/Seizoen-2014–2015/de-vrek.html or http://werkgroepcaraibischeletteren.nl/de-vrek-van-moliere-door-donkere-acteurs.

For additional information (in Dutch) go to http://stadsschouwburgamsterdam.nl/voorstellingen/9406-de-vrek.

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