Translated by Mikhail Donskoy
Moliere's play was banned by his contemporaries for offending religious sensibilities and the clergy. Tartuffe returned to the stage just five years later and it has been performed all over the world ever since.
The Masterskaya's Tartuffe isn't, of course, about clericalism. Tartuffe is an aesthete, a poet, a musician, a sybarite. It isn't really his fault that a rich bourgeois was so taken by him as to give him his estate. Tartuffe is so charming that it's impossible to suspect him of lying, let alone treachery. A subtle, refined incarnation of evil, Tartuffe enchants, subdues and triumphs, bluntly removing any obstacle in his path.
Moliere's Tartuffe is a comedy, and so is the Masterskaya's production. It starts off hilarious and, a while in, it's still hilarious. But then it suddenly and instantaneously becomes terrifying. Terrifying from an awareness of humanity's helplessness in the face of an overwhelming force; of evil's infinite power; and of the fact that, in time, Tartuffe will return, for he is eternal and inescapable.
Director – Grigory Kozlov
Stage Design – Nikolai Slobodyanik
Costume Design – Stefania Graurogkaite
Composer – Maxim Studenovsky
Musical Direction – Vladimir Bychkovsky, Maxim Studenovsky
Music Recording – Ulyana Luchkina (violin), Andrei Fando (accordion), Maxim Studenovsky (piano), Dmitri Zhitkov (drums, bass guitar)
Sound – Maria Belova
Lights – Dmitri Albul
Video – Alexander Malyshev, Fyodor Sokolov
Choreographer – Nikolai Kuglyant
French Language Coach – Valeria Milyutina
Singing Coach – Alyona Parshina, Grigory Uglov
Stage Managers – Alyona Parshina, Svetlana Povalyaeva