Tom Stoppard's Arcadia had its France premiere Jan. 13. at the Theatre du Vieux Colombier in a production directed by Philippe Adrien. Arcadia has already been performed in French, but in Belgium, translated by Denyse Periez. Successful playwright Jean-Marie Besset has provided a new translation for this production.
Besset has adapted many English authors such as David Hare (The Secret Rapture), Alan Bennett (Talking Heads), Noel Coward (Hay Fever) or Brian Friel (Dancing at Lughnasa). He has also written a lot of plays. Besset's play Grande Ecole was created in New York by the UBU Repertory Theatre. It was re-created later in France and won Besset a Moliere Award Nomination for Best Author.
Arcadia had its world premiere at the Royal National Theatre in a production directed by Trevor Nunn. The U.S. premiere took place in New York in 1995, in a production directed by Nunn again, starring Robert Sean Leonard and Victor Garber. It got three Tony nominations, including Best Play.
For this French production, the cast is as following : Alain Pralon (Richard Noakes), Claire Vernet (Lady Gray), Claude Mathieu (Anna Jarvis), Jean-Pierre Michael (Septimus Duncan), Jean-Baptiste Malarte (Bernard Nightingale), Olivier Dautrey (Ezra Chater), Denis Podalydes (Valentin Coverly), Francoise Gillard (Thomasina Coverly), Catherine Vuillez (Cloe Coverly), David Stanley (Jellaby) and Micha Lescot (Auguste Coverly/Gustave Coverly).
On Feb. 3, a debate will be held at the Espace Rencontres of the FNAC Montparnasse with the Arcadia team (director, cast and possibly adaptator). The FNAC Montparnasse is located 136 rue de Rennes. Entrance is free. For tickets and information on Arcadia at the Theatre du Vieux Colombier, call 331 44 39 87 00 or 331 44 39 87 01. Runs until Feb. 22.