Theatre Review: The Misanthrope by Roger McGough

The Misanthrope is an adaptation of Molière’s classic. The adaptation was formed by popular poet Roger McGough, who brings flair to this piece. Currently showing at the Liverpool Everyman Theatre, The Misanthrope shows the story of poet Alceste and his views on 17th French aristocracy. Although it sounds quite dull, McGough pulls this potentially drab story into a pleasant ride with his elegant wit. The use of rhyming couplets, combined with some interesting world-aware humour brings out the life of the play and makes it more accessible to the non-historical audience. The wordplay is surely a sight to behold.

What displeased me about this play was not the play itself, but the audience. I looked around and saw no people of my own age. It dawned on me that young people were missing out on the beauty of wordplay due to strict-mindedness. I could see how the sound of the play might put people off, but I think that people should turn their attentions to the movement of the English language. We should appreciate our language and hear how beautiful it is. It saddens me that we aren’t open to performances we think we might not like. If we thought ‘why not’ every once in a while and opened our minds to theatre, we might just gain some appreciation.

The play itself sounded beautiful. The visuals however could have been better. The majority of the play took place in one set, which meant you had to force yourself to concentrate, at times. The only time they did change set, it was for such a small amount of time. Nothing really happened in the second setting, and then we reverted back to the previous after the break. Although there was a lack of change in setting, the characters were wonderful. Colin Tierney (Nowhere Boy, Splintered and Cracker) was amazing and played the role tremendously. All actors should be appreciated for remembering the vast amount of lines and for bringing their characters to life.

I’d definitely recommend this play, especially so if it sounds like it’s ‘not your thing’. We should open ourselves to experience this type of theatre and I could watch it over and over, hearing new brilliant words every time.

Edit Additional:

On a similar topic, a fellow blogger wrote about the use of words such as ‘shipping’, ‘yolo’ and other words in a place other than the internet. I think this fits in quite nicely with how people, mainly young people, aren’t listening to language. They’re using cut-off words as thats what they’re seeing used. Keep lol-language to the internets and take your kids to see Misanthrope!

Link to the fellow blogger’s post: http://jadedapothecary.wordpress.com/2013/03/23/welcome-to-hell-english-fans-mankind-has-conjured-up-yet-another-way-to-take-our-beautiful-language-and-shoot-it-out-of-the-cannon-of-stupidity-shipping-is-now-part-of-our-vernacu/

Rating: 7/10

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