He’s known as the father of French #theatre, but the influence of #Molière goes well beyond France. His impact is still felt today all over the world. To mark the 400th #anniversary of the famed playwright’s birth, we speak to Georges Forestier, professor at the Sorbonne and a specialist in the works of Molière. We also take you on a tour of Molière’s Paris.
Read by James Smillie
The Seven Ages of Man by William Shakespeare
All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms;
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lin’d,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well sav’d, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion;
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
British author, playwright and translator Michael Frayn is best known for his farcical comedy ‘Noises Off’ and ‘Copenhagen’, which details a 1941 meeting between Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg.
He is also a translator of Russian and has written several English translations of Chekhov. He spoke to us about his prolific career and his latest book, ‘Magic Mobile’.
With the whole world at the touch of your finger – why ever leave the imaginary realm of your mobile phone? This book of short comedic vignettes might give you a reason ―Magic Mobile is the latest offering of comic genius from Michael Frayn, award-winning author of the plays Noises Off and Copenhagen and novels The Tin Men, Towards the End of the Morning, and Headlong.