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Moliére's Tartuffe at State Theatre Centre

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French classic delivers stage magic at State Theatre Centre
Moliére, Tartuffe, State Theatre Centre, The Actors' Hub, stage, play, performing arts, satire, farce, comedy
Quaid Kirchner, left, Emma Harvey, Ashana Murphy, Jordan Holloway, Nicholas Allen and Justin Gray, at front, and Danen Engelenberg, Adam Droppert and Angela Mahlatjie are appearing in Tartuffe.

A play by one of France's most celebrated playwrights is coming to the State Theatre Centre's Studio Underground in July. Performed by students from The Actors' Hub, Tartuffe is a classic French satire and farce by Moliére first performed in 1664 and regarded as one of his most famous theatrical comedies.

Tartuffe is the name of the central character who is a wolf in sheep's clothing – he scams the family that has taken him in as their spiritual adviser and causes drama, confusion and comedy.

Gerard Depardieu directed and starred in the title role of a 1984 French film version while the 2007 film Moliére contains many direct and indirect references to Tartuffe.

Tartuffe marks the first time The Actors' Hub students have performed at the State Theatre Centre with director Vivienne Garrett describing the play as relevant to today as it was more 350 years ago.

Moliére, Tartuffe, State Theatre Centre, The Actors' Hub, stage, play, performing arts, satire, farce, comedy
Elmire (Ashana Murphy) and Orgon (Jordan Holloway) in the French stage classic Tartuffe.

The characters are larger than life but still totally identifiable," she said. "It's a brilliant piece of theatre rarely seen these days and a gift for actors. But it's very demanding – the play requires vocal, acting and movement skills of the highest order. It will be great to see The Actors' Hub actors bring this hilarious and vibrant comedy to life."

Vivienne is a NIDA graduate who has worked with major Australian theatre companies and luminaries such as John Cleese, Mel Gibson, Geoffrey Rush and John Bell. Her career spans decades in theatre, film and television and includes appearances in Number 96, Matlock Police, Homicide, Mother and Son, Haydaze, Ship to Shore and Minty.

Over the years, Vivienne has received various awards and nominations for her performances and also has numerous directing credits. She works as a vocal and acting coach and has taught at The Actors' Hub, NIDA, WA Academy of Performing Arts, The Australian Film and Television Academy and Notre Dame and Edith Cowan Universities.

"Directing any play is a challenge," Vivienne said. "Moliére's work is revered throughout the world and the play is challenging on every level. People will love the language, situation comedy, flair and style and, of course, the dexterity of the actors."

Moliére, Tartuffe, State Theatre Centre, The Actors' Hub, stage, play, performing arts, satire, farce, comedy
Angela Mahlatjie plays Dorine in Moliére's Tartuffe this July.

Angela Mahlatjie plays the lady servant Dorine. "She's a very wise character that is known for talking too much – and with sass." she said. "Dorine uses her wits and smart mouth to manipulate certain situations and that gets her into trouble.

"This form of theatre, known as commedia dell'arte, requires characters to be taken all the way to their extremes, physically and vocally. Being able to play such an outrageous character and still bring it back to truth is a challenge I'm looking forward to facing."

"Tartuffe appealed because it's quick-paced, sharp, hilarious and rhymes the whole way through. That alone attracted me to it! But I was also inspired by Moliére's bravery to write such a controversial, hard-hitting play for its time."

Tartuffe plays at 7.30pm July 23, 24 and 25. Tickets are $25, $20 concession – book on 6143 3568 or at www.actorshub.net under "what's on".

The Studio Underground is at the State Theatre Centre, 174-176 William Street, Perth (on the Northbridge side of the Horseshoe Bridge).
Moliére, Tartuffe, State Theatre Centre, The Actors' Hub, stage, play, performing arts, satire, farce, comedy
The Actors' Hub students Justin Gray, left, Emma Harvey and Jordan Holloway are appearing in Moliére's Tartuffe at the State Theatre Centre's Studio Underground.
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Why? It's a chance to see a rarely performed classic French satire and farce.
When: 7.30pm July 23, 24, 25
Phone: 6143 3568
Where: Studio Underground, State Theatre Centre, 174-176 William Street, Perth (on the Northbridge side of the Horseshoe Bridge).
Cost: $25, $20 concession
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