A ferocious new version of Molière’s comic masterpiece, Tartuffe, by John Donnelly will open in February at The National Theatre. Denis O’Hare will make his NT debut in the title role.
Orgon is the man who has everything. Money, power, a beautiful home and family. But lately he’s been questioning the point of it all. When he invites the irresistible Tartuffe into his seemingly perfect household, he unleashes a whirlwind of deception and seduction that threatens everything.
With Orgon under Tartuffe's spell, can his family outwit this charismatic trickster? Are Tartuffe's wild claims truth or fiction? This mysterious stranger may not be quite the villain he appears. A scalpel-sharp comedy looking at the lengths we go to find meaning – and what happens when we find chaos instead.
Director Blanche McIntyre, who is also making her NT debut, said "John Donnelly’s adaptation is an outrageously funny, savage, brilliant updating of Molière’s classic. Molière spoke fearlessly about power and hypocrisy in Tartuffe - so much so that the play was banned more than once. This new version shifts the weight of the central ideas to entertain and disturb an audience of 2019.
I am very excited to bring Tartuffe to the Lyttelton stage with the multi-award-winning actor Denis O’Hare. Denis is one of the great actors of our time. He moves effortlessly from affecting to frightening to funny. His acting is full of sharp political intelligence and boundless humanity. His ideas are fascinating. I know his Tartuffe will be extraordinary and I can’t wait to work with him on it."
Speaking about taking the title role Denis O’Hare said "I have always loved Molière and find his plays bracingly relevant. As an American actor, the chance to work at the National is an immense honor. As a recently transplanted American living in Paris, to play Tartuffe is deliciously ironic and to be Tartuffe at the National is a dream come true."
Denis O’Hare has appeared in many on and off Broadway productions including Take Me Out, which originated at the Donmar Warehouse for which he won a Tony Award. He is well known for his acclaimed performances in the hit anthology series American Horror Story for which he received multiple Emmy Award nominations, other television appearances include This is Us and True Blood.
Set and costume design by Robert Jones, lighting design by Oliver Fenwick and composition and sound by Ben and Max Ringham.
Tartuffe previews from 9 February, with a press night on 21 February, on sale until 30 April. Hundreds of tickets for every performance available at £15.