1705430321 Florent Siaud directs Le Misanthrope on TNM Sounding

Florent Siaud directs “Le Misanthrope” on TNM | Sounding Alexandrians

After Racine's Britannicus five years ago, Florent Siaud returns to the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde (TNM) to direct another classic of the repertoire: Molière's Le Misanthrope. A work that resonates and resonates particularly in our very divided and fragmented times.

Published at 1:25 am. Updated at 7:00 a.m.


“The task of comedy is to correct men by entertaining them,” Molière wrote in his preface to Dom Juan in 1665, a year before The Misanthrope was written.

It is not Florent Siaud who will tell you otherwise. The young forty-year-old, who has a career between Europe and Quebec, sees this masterpiece by Molière as a “profound philosophical experience”. “The ambiguity of the piece is a metaphor for the shifting and changing side of human nature. In “The Misanthrope,” the characters are never sure; especially not their relationships with others,” he summarizes in an interview with La Presse a few days before the production’s premiere this Tuesday evening on TNM.

According to Siaud, “The Misanthrope” is “Moliere’s most beautiful and masterful play.” And the most modern. “The work is necessary today because we live in a time of polarization, division and moral intransigence,” he says.

We no longer argue with people who have different opinions. We reject ideas that differ from ours. But here Molière encourages us to think about the question of ethics by exposing a range of positions and their opposites on the common good.

Florent Siaud, director

The Misanthrope features Alceste (Francis Ducharme), an angry man who no longer recognizes himself in the aristocratic society in which he lives. And the woman he loves, Célimène (Alice Pascual), a pretty and cunning young widow, the object of all gallantry. Alceste's confidant is her friend Philinthe, played by Alex Bergeron. In Oronte we also find Dany Boudreault, a lover of Célimène, who will drag Alceste to court, angered by the criticism he made of her sonnet.

  • Francis Ducharme plays Alceste, a key figure in the French repertoire


    Francis Ducharme plays Alceste, a key figure in the French repertoire

  • The actor Alex Bergeron is Philinthe.


    The actor Alex Bergeron is Philinthe.

  • Alice Pascual will play Célimène, one of the most important female figures of the 17th century, on the TNM stage.


    Alice Pascual will play Célimène, one of the most important female figures of the 17th century, on the TNM stage.


The Misanthrope contrasts the darkness of Alceste's melancholy with the light of Philinthe's humanism. Two opposing worldviews that, despite appearances, are not incompatible. “We all oscillate between the intransigence of Alceste and the harmony of Philinthe,” says Siaud, pointing out that the issue was discussed in the troupe during rehearsals. “The play confuses the issue by presenting two rigid moral positions. But society is more complicated. In life we ​​all ask ourselves [parfois] whether we have to live together or isolate ourselves from others in order to be happy. »

Despite all odds

When Jean-Baptiste Poquelin completed “Le Misanthrope” in 1666, he was at full creative potential despite illness. The author wrote about twenty plays and ballets up to 1673, the year in which he created The Imaginary Sick, his final play…before he died a few hours after the fourth performance at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal.

The piece is written in twelve-foot-long verses; a language that is both “poetic and political”… and difficult to put into the mouth. “But I think it’s important that it resonates on stage today. I often quote Boileau's words to actors: “What we well imagine is clearly expressed and the words to express it come easily to us.” Alexandrine allows you to communicate clear thoughts. Which is very valuable in today's world where expression is more diffuse and confused. Among other things, in social networks. »

Florent Siaud worked with the troupe a lot on verses, but also on gestures. He chose very physical, athletic actors.

1705430312 123 Florent Siaud directs Le Misanthrope on TNM Sounding


Florent Siaud takes a chiaroscuro look at Molière's verse piece, with very contemporary echoes.

For me, the Alexandrine is not a museum form of expression at all. It is a carnal, organic and sensual language.

Florent Siaud, director

At the center of the piece is the figure of Célimène, who is often viewed as superficial. Wrongly so: “We don’t always understand the strength and intelligence of Célimène, one of the most important female figures of the 17th century,” believes Siaud. We need to change our view of the heroines of literature since Molière's time. Célimène is an incarnation of the polyamorous woman and the free, emancipated woman. She’s not flirtatious for a cent,” the director concludes.

The misanthrope

The misanthrope

By Molière, production by Florent Siaud

At TNM until February 10th, La Piece will tour a few cities in Quebec from February 28th to March 28th.