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The Bungler by Molière
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The Bungler

by Molière

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English (4)  French (1)  All languages (5)
Showing 4 of 4
Listened to as part of The Molière Collection, a digital audiobook by L.A. Theater Works of performances of 6 plays using Richard Wilbur's translations.

This first play in the collection was one unfamiliar to me - not as hilarious as Moliére's best but still quite funny. The plot is reminiscent of some of Shakespeare's comedies (The Comedy of Errors for example). ( )
  leslie.98 | Dec 17, 2016 |
5
  kutheatre | Jun 7, 2015 |
My excitement at seeing a newly published Richard Wilbur translation of a Moliere play I hadn't heard of was tempered slightly by the worry it was just a different title for a play I had already read. (This recently happened to me with Bulgakov's A Dead Man's Memoir, and years ago I was excited to read Camus' The Outsider -- only to figure out pretty quickly it was just a different translation of The Stranger.)

According to the introductory notes, this was Moliere's first major play and the first play in verse. It is a Commedia Dell Arte that tells a stock farce plot of a bungling young man, Lelie, and his resourceful valet as they attempt to get a woman, currently held as a slave and also pursued by another young man. Every time the valet has a new scheme it gets thwarted by Lelie's bungling. It is a testament to the play that I found myself laughing just as hard the twelfth or so time the formula of valet devises a seemingly fool-proof plan to get the girl, and the fool ruins it.

Nowhere near Moliere's later plays in depth, complexity, psychological insight and development, plot etc. But Wilbur's verse translation is as witty and enjoyable as the best of Moliere -- as I suspect the original French is as well. ( )
  nosajeel | Jun 21, 2014 |
My excitement at seeing a newly published Richard Wilbur translation of a Moliere play I hadn't heard of was tempered slightly by the worry it was just a different title for a play I had already read. (This recently happened to me with Bulgakov's A Dead Man's Memoir, and years ago I was excited to read Camus' The Outsider -- only to figure out pretty quickly it was just a different translation of The Stranger.)

According to the introductory notes, this was Moliere's first major play and the first play in verse. It is a Commedia Dell Arte that tells a stock farce plot of a bungling young man, Lelie, and his resourceful valet as they attempt to get a woman, currently held as a slave and also pursued by another young man. Every time the valet has a new scheme it gets thwarted by Lelie's bungling. It is a testament to the play that I found myself laughing just as hard the twelfth or so time the formula of valet devises a seemingly fool-proof plan to get the girl, and the fool ruins it.

Nowhere near Moliere's later plays in depth, complexity, psychological insight and development, plot etc. But Wilbur's verse translation is as witty and enjoyable as the best of Moliere -- as I suspect the original French is as well. ( )
  jasonlf | Jul 30, 2011 |
Showing 4 of 4
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» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Molièreprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Huldén, LarsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilbur, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In 17th Century Sicily, a clever valet named Mascarille tries to help his boss Lelie win the girl of his dreams -- only to find that Lelie is a monumental dunce who ruins every one of his intricate schemes. Undaunted, Mascarille invents progressively wilder plots, only to see his best-laid plans go very awry in Moliere's The Bungler. Translated by Richard Wilbur. An L.A. Theatre Works full-cast performance featuring Richard Easton as Mascarille; Adam Godley as Lelie; Alan Mandell as Trufaldin; Dakin Matthews as Ergaste; Christopher Neame as Pandolphe; Paula Jane Newman as Celie; Darren Richardson as Andres; John Sloan as Leandre; Norman Snow as Anselme; Kate Steele as Hippolyte.… (more)

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