Page extent: 200
Includes the plays The Liar, The Illusion, Le Cid
Pierre Corneille (1606–84), the great seventeenth-century neoclassical dramatist, wrote over thirty plays during his long and varied career. Triumphant in both comedy and tragedy, his plays remain at the core of the repertory.
When the young Molière saw The Liar (Le Menteur), a delightful chronicle of a pathological liar’s adventures in love, he decided to become a playwright. The Illusion (L’Illusion Comique) is a fascinating and mysterious tragi-comedy, one of the first plays to explore consciously the relationship between theatre and the real world. Le Cid, Corneille’s best known play, was controversial in its day, and led to a resurgence in French drama.
Ranjit Bolt’s version of The Liar finds a way of rendering rhyming couplets which ‘no one else from the history of translating for the theatre has ever done…with some style and without sacrificing the sense of gallantry that is so essential to the original text.’ (BBC Radio3’s Critics Forum.) Both The Liar and The Illusion recently enjoyed critical and box office success at the Old Vic, reaffirming Ranjit Bolt as one of the world’s foremost translators of drama.
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