by Jean Baptiste Molière
English verse by
Timothy Mooney

Comedy: Three Acts plus interludes/finale; Estimated Running Time: 100 minutes (without intermission).

Cast: 12 Male, 4 Female, 10-50 Extras, 26+ Total (see details).

Setting: Single Exterior Setting.

World Premiere Production Available

Cast, Set Details

CAST:
12 Male, 4 Female, 10-50 Extras, 26+ Total*
* It is assumed that this very stylized farce will easily accommodate much double-casting and cross-gender casting, suggesting that the total may well be winnowed down to 15 or so.

DRAMATIS PERSONAE:
MONSIEUR DE POURCEAUGNAC
ORONTE, Julia’s father
ERASTE, Julia’s lover
SBRIGANI, a Neapolitan adventurer
FIRST DOCTOR
SECOND DOCTOR
AN APOTHECARY
A PEASANT
A FEMALE PEASANT
FIRST SWISS
SECOND SWISS
A POLICE OFFICER
TWO CADET OFFICERS
JULIA, Oronte’s daughter
NERINE, a woman of intrigue, from Picardy
LUCETTE, from Gascony
Characters in the Ballet:
A FEMALE MUSICIAN
TWO MUSICIANS
A TROOP OF DANCERS
TWO DANCING MASTERS
TWO DANCING PAGES
FOUR SPECTATORS
TWO DANCING SWISS
TWO GROTESQUE DOCTORS
COMIC DANCERS
TWO SINGING ATTORNEYS
TWO DANCING SOLICITORS
TWO SERGEANTS
A MASKED TROOP
A MALE SINGING GYPSY
A FEMALE SINGING GIPSY
A PANTALOON
CHORUS OF MASKED SINGERS
DANCING BISCAYENS AND SAVAGES

SCENE:
Single Exterior Setting: In Paris.


About the Adaptation

In Monsieur de Pourceaugnac, written in 1669, Moliere returns to the style of some of his earlier farces, this time with a "piling on" effect. In this play, when the sweet young thing is engaged to marry a stranger for the father's financial advantage, the girl's lover and their servants concoct a scheme that is relentless in its attack of the unwitting out-of-towner. Monsieur de Pourceaugnac is subjected to every imaginable indignity: psychoanalyzed, attacked by a team of doctors looking to administer an enema, and dressed up as a woman to dodge a band of mauraders whom he has been convinced are coming to hunt him down. Unlike many of Moliere's plays of this period, there is little aesthetic balance in the argument, but rather an unbridled joy to the attack. In this scene, we find the girl's lover, Eraste, winning Pourceaugnac's confidence, while Eraste's servant, Sbrigani, has already duped Pourceaugnac into believing in his good intentions toward him.


Excerpt

Monsieur de Porceaugnac

Monsieur de Pourceaugnac
Act One, Scene Six

ERASTE, MONSIEUR DE POURCEAUGNAC, SBRIGANI

 

ERASTE

Good Lord! Now runs my heart’s good course on track!

Could it be? Yes! Monsieur de Pourceaugnac!

Oh, how your sudden presence does surprise me!

What’s this? Could it be you don’t recognize me?

 

POURCEAUGNAC

Of course, I am your humble servant, sir!

 

ERASTE

Could it be that some five, six years could blur

The memory with such awful, sore impacts;

Forget the best friend of the Porceaugnacs? 

 

POURCEAUGNAC

Of course I know you, Sir! Oh, yes! Oh, my!

(Aside to SBRIGANI.) I tell you that I do not know this guy!

 

ERASTE

There is no Pourceaugnac in Limoges

Whom I do not know each and every way,

With whom I’ve not enjoyed a happy feast,

From greatest on down to the very least.

I stayed with only them in Limoges,

And sat there at your side, it seems, each day.

It was the greatest honor of my visit.

 

POURCEAUGNAC

The honor, Sir, was mine. It was exquisite.

 

ERASTE

Are you sure that you recognize my face?

 

POURCEAUGNAC

Of course I do! (Aside to SBRIGANI.) I swear, I can’t quite place -- 

 

ERASTE

You must recall the pleasure that we had

In taking wine. I must say we were bad.

 

POURCEAUGNAC

Oh, yes we were! On that I must agree … uh …

(Aside.) I tell you Sir, that I have no idea!

 

ERASTE

Who was that innkeeper? You know, the source

Of such good cheer?

 

POURCEAUGNAC

                                 Um, Little John?

 

ERASTE

                                                     Of course!

Good Little John! Oh, how we loved his inn!

The things we said in there! I can’t begin … !

And where was it? That place we’d promenade?

 

POURCEAUGNAC

The cemetery of Arenes?

 

ERASTE

                                           God!

Exactly where we spent such sweet, sweet hours,

If in the sunshine or in summer showers;

Our conversations! You do not recall?

 

POURCEAUGNAC

Oh, yes, of course! I recollect it all!

(Aside.) Be damned if I recall a single thing!

 

SBRIGANI (Aside to POURCEAUGNAC.)

It happens all the time. Some thoughts don’t cling,

But leave your head the moment that they’ve struck.

 

ERASTE

Embrace me, Sir. Let’s celebrate our luck,

Renew the friendship with the tales we tell …

 

SBRIGANI (Aside to POURCEAUGNAC.)

There is a man who loves you, Sir, quite well.

 

ERASTE

But family news, please Sir, if you don’t mind:

How is the one … the one … who was so kind?

 

POURCEAUGNAC

Perhaps you are referring to my brother,

The officer?

 

ERASTE

                    Of course! Not any other!

How is he doing?

 

POURCEAUGNAC

                             Oh, he’s very well.

 

ERASTE

I’m thrilled to hear it, Sir! Oh, now, do tell!

The other … in an office slightly lesser … ?

 

POURCEAUGNAC

I think you mean my cousin, the assessor?

 

ERASTE

The very one!

 

POURCEAUGNAC

                       Oh, ever glad and gay.

 

ERASTE

I can’t describe the joy you bring today!

And tell me, then, there was the uncle, who …

 

POURCEAUGNAC

I haven’t got an uncle.

 

ERASTE

                                    Didn’t you?

Back then, of course, he was a fine old gent …

 

POURCEAUGNAC

No, just an aunt.

 

ERASTE

                           Your aunt! Just who I meant!


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