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The Social Climber
Molière's Le Bourgeois gentilhomme
translated and adapted by Paddy Gormley

Upstairs at the Gatehouse

2011

Cast list

Photographs

Review

The Social Climber

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Monsieur Jourdain
Peter Saracen
Madame Jourdain
Maggie Turner
Lucile
Gabrielle Douglas
Nicole
Nadia Ostacchini
Cléonte
Phil Gerrard
Covielle
Rhys Lawton
Dorante
Roger Sansom
Dorimène
Lindsey Readman
Music Master
Rosemary Francis
Dancing Master
Lindsey Readman
Philosophy Master
Jackie Skarvellis
Fencing Master
Rhys Lawton
Tailor
Jackie Skarvellis
Corps de Ballet
Students from the Rona Hart School of Dance:
Juliet Barton, Jilli Crosby, Mary-Catherine Harvey,
Remi Maeda, Anahita Talwar & Jenny Walker
 
Directed by
Kenneth Michaels
Musician
Gabrielle Douglas
Scenic Artist
John Dalton
Lighting Design
Edmund Sutton
Sound Engineering
Rowan Coupe
Choreography
Linzi Else (corps de ballet)
Lindsey Readman (main cast)
Stage Manager
Rosemary Francis
Wardrobe Mistress
Jennie Yates
Technician
Sarah Griffin

Costumes, Props & Stage Furniture
Monsieur Jourdain’s clothes were designed by Michael Baldwin.
Jourdain’s new suit and hat were realised by Caroline Williams.
Jourdain’s déshabillé was realised by Barbara Gormley,
with decorative chinoiserie painted by Michael Baldwin.
The costume-making was generously supported by Costume Club members
Gavin Morrison, Karen Vavourakis, James Murdoch and Nadia Ostacchini.
Other costumes & shoes supplied by The Questors Theatre.
Wigs: Costume Studio. Fans: Martin Cort.
Table & chairs courtesy of Jan & Gerry at The Knights Templar pub, WC2.
Other props & furniture: Dee’s Prop Shop, The Questors Theatre.

Logos would also like to thank...
Actors & Writers London
(who gave the first professional reading of The Social Climber),
Paul & Kasonde at Archway Methodist Church (rehearsal rooms & storage),
Monia Antonioli (photography), Stephanie Connell (new media),
Will Gormley (live music consultant), Nadia Ostacchini (publicity), Eddie Wond (printing)
and the many others who helped make this production possible, including
French Radio London Ltd, Institut Français du Royaume-Uni, Librairie La Page,
The European Bookshop, Hélène le Bohec, Adrian Brown, Martin Cort,
Barry Finch, Rochelle Francis, Edward Gormley,
Paddy Gormley, Amber Raney-Kincade & Peter Sutton.

The Social ClimberPhoto by Monia Antonioli

"Rollicking, pacey new Moliere adaptation"
Penny Culliford, remotegoat.co.uk, October 2011

Paddy Gormley's The Social Climber is a huge, friendly, rumbustious puppy of a play that from the first moment bounds out wagging its tail and licks the audience. It is a new adaptation of Moliere's Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, which makes this comedy of seventeenth century French manners and morality lively, accessible and vibrant. It is a play with a big heart, filling the larger than usual fringe theatre stage at "Upstairs at the Gatehouse" with activity and colour. Kenneth Michaels' direction made it fairly romp along, at times bordering on pantomime, at others carefully sustaining seventeenth century wit and manners but always allowing Gormley's meticulous half-rhyme-half-prose, with its intentional anachronisms and modern phrases to make the audience both laugh and think.

Peter Saracen in the lead role of M. Jourdain, the idiotic and foppish social climber of the title gives an energetic and skilful performance. Maggie Turner as his wife, Madame Jourdaine, is the voice of reason and her calm stately presence is a good foil to Saracen's "five espressos too many" vigour. Gabrielle Douglas is beautiful and regal as the Jourdains' long suffering daughter Lucile, and Nadia Ostacchini sparkles as Nicole, the cheeky maid. Special mentions too for Phil Gerrard relishing the role of Cleonte, especially enjoyable in disguise as the Grand Turk's son, Rhys Lawton giving a superb physical comedy performance as his valet, Covielle, the lovely voice of Rosemary Francis as the singing teacher and Lindsey Readman who displayed great comic timing as Dorimene.

What I loved - the three young women from the Rona Hart School of Dance as the corps de ballet. The girl who played the sheep in the pastoral scene of shepherds and nymphs came close to stealing the show. What I hated - I would lose the anachronistic bottle of Heinz Ketchup in Act 2. The play was saucy enough without it!

 

Click the image on the right for The Social Climber website, which includes

  • a slide show of more than sixty photographs by Monia Antonioli, with captions, based on the script, that tell the story of the play;
  • an audio-visual introduction to Molière's play and Paddy Gormley's adaptation;
  • a French language radio arts feature on The Social Climber;
  • a Q&A session about the adaptation,
    hosted by The European Bookshop, London W1.

The Social Climber: production shotPhoto by Monia Antonioli

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Click for The Social Climber website
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