Rogaland Theatre, Norway – 2018
Molière’s comedy “Tartuffe” is all about religious extremism. Because of pressure from the Catholic Church the text was forbidden in 1665. A new version in 1667 was also forbidden. The third version could finally be presented for king Louis XIV in 1669. As the two first versions have been lost my adaption is based on the third version.
Religious extremism is also a contemporary issue. We see both in the Arab world and in Europe how especially Islam is being instrumented for extreme political agendas. The connection between religion and violence has been clear since the Christian crusades of the middle ages. And today many, if not most, violent conflicts have their origins in religions.
I have used Molière’s comedy to expose religion’s potential to create fear and to manipulate innocent people. The concept of Paradise and Hell is an efficient instrument of power. We will do anything to come to one place and not the other. As the institutionalized representatives of Christianity and Islam can offer the key to the Paradise they have achieved immense power over millions of innocent people.