The story has grown into a legend: in the month of February 1673, an exhausted Molière collapses during the fourth performance of his Malade Imaginaire (Imaginary Invalid), in the middle of the fictitious ceremony for Argan’s investiture into the Order of Doctors. In the absence of reliable historical documents, there are many contradictory versions of his death. But what will be remembered by posterity is that the greatest French playwright almost died while he was performing!
Very early morning, Molière has closed his eyes for the last time and Baron returns to the hall that still rings with the last echoes of the comédie-ballet… The orchestra is still present, playing the grotesque investiture ceremony music, and Baron sees and relives the last tragic moments, when everything changed forever. Overwhelmed, overcome by exhaustion and emotion, Baron finally finds the words to express his pain and enters into a post-mortem dialogue with Molière, pouring out all his secrets, his regrets, his remorse, emptying his heart. In this confession addressed to the beyond, Baron remembers his first meeting with Molière, the day he joined the troupe, his discovery of sex in the actresses’ green rooms, his emotional misadventures with Armande, under the knowing gaze of her husband, his betrayals of the man who had done so much for him. But as he evokes these memories he also brings the writer, Molière, back to life; his aesthetic and political battles, his hatred of the falsely devout and of the fundamentalism of the time, his race against time to complete the Invalid, as if he had a premonition that It would be his last testament, and in which he settled his accounts with the whole world, King, Lully, his enemies, his troupe and his loves.
Text: Jean-Claude Berutti
Stage direction: François Rancillac
Actor: to be confirmed
Françoise Lasserre, direction