When in Manila and looking for budding, talented young theatre actors (or just a good classical play in general), all you really need to do is catch the graduating students of the AB-Production Design and AB-Technical Theater program of the De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde School of Design & Arts (SDA) take on Molière’s last masterpiece, Le Malade Imaginaire.
Le Malade Imaginaire tells the story of Argan – played by the very talented Reuben Uy – a rich, miserly hypochondriac wishing to have constant medical attention for free. He decides to marry his daughter, Angelique, to Thomas Diafoirus, a boring young doctor from a family of doctors. I loved how Thomas was portrayed! He appeared to be intelligent, but is spoiled, arrogant, and quite the big fussy baby. No one in their right mind would consider him marriage material. Then again, Argan wasn’t in his right mind, anyway.
But Angelique, in love with another young man named Cleante, rejects the plan of his father. Hilarity ensues as Angelique, Cleante, Argan’s maid, Toinette and Argan’s sibling, Beralde, all try to change Argan’s mind and expose the manipulations of his gold digging wife, Beline.
I was lucky enough to watch the play in the classical tradition of the Commedia Dell’arte – a theatrical form that originated in Italy and became popular in Europe in the 15th century – a form that Molière used in his plays and is characterized by physical comedy, improvisation, stock characters and the use of masks. I’d have to say the funniest character in the whole comedy had to be Argan’s old maid, Toinette, with her plotting and scheming to make sure her mistress Angelique is married to a man she really loves.
When in Manila and wanting to see what the De La Salle – College of St. Benilde’s AB-Production Design and AB-Technical Theater program is made of, their graduating piece, Le Malade Imaginaire, was their way of showcasing everything they leaned. Bravo!
Ticket prices are P300 (balcony) and P350 (orchestra). For more information, contact Francesca Gonzalez 0917-5020531 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Molière’s Last Comedy: Le Malade Imaginaire (The Imaginary Invalid)