Tartuffe in the West End
Tartuffe in the West End

A new adaptation of Molière's classic comedy Tartuffe will open at Theatre Royal Haymarket in May.

Christopher Hampton (Les Liaisons Dangereuses) will move the piece to Donald Trump's America, where a French film tycoon finds his life uprooted by a radical American evangelist. It will be inspired by real-world events.

The show is the West End's first dual language theatre production, performed in both English and French. It will alternate between English with French surtitles and French with English surtitles.

Hampton said: "Statistically, Tartuffe is the most-performed French play ever. I've seen it in theatres ranging from the RSC to the National Theatre of Vietnam, and it never fails to seem relevant and connect with audiences, in addition, of course, to amusing them. So when Gérald Garutti and Oliver King suggested a bilingual version with an English-speaking Tartuffe, it seemed a fascinating way to approach this perennial classic and situate it in today's bewildering world."

Hampton previously adapted the same piece 35 years ago for the RSC, with Antony Sher playing the titular role.

Moliére wrote the piece in 1664, parodying the hypocrisies of French aristocrats in the seventeenth century. This new version will be directed by Gerald Garutti, the former dramaturg of the French National Theatre.

It was also announced this morning that Theatre Royal Haymarket would be up for sale from next week.

Tartuffe runs at Theatre Royal Haymarket from 29 May to 28 July with previews from 25 May.

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