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The False Servant

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The False Servant by Pierre de Marivaux
Translated by Michael Sadler
Adapted and Directed by Peter Kavanagh
BBC Radio 3 16/06/1989
Length 01:26:47

PlotEdit

A Comedy first performed in Paris on July 8, 1724.
A chateau in 18th century France. Dressed as a man, a rich Parisienne has accompanied her unwitting fiance Lelio, to the country.She wants to keep an eye on him suspecting his romantic interest in their hostess.
Everything hinges on a young woman's disguise as a chevalier, ostensibly to witness first-hand the mercenariness of a potential husband, Lelio. Having befriended the monstrous Lelio, she agrees to rescue him from the marital clutches of a middle-aged countess by wooing the lady herself. Her apparent aim is to protect the countess's money and expose Lelio's deviousness. But is that her actual motive? Marivaux's real preoccupation is erotic power and the fluidity of gender. Marivaux's protagonist clearly relishes being a man. She stresses her attractiveness, is ready to fight a duel with Lelio and,in two extraordinary seduction scenes, reduces the countess to grovelling humiliation.

The CastEdit

Chevalier.................Janet Mcteer
Lelio.....................Tim McInnerny
Countess..................Imogen Stubbs
Trivelin..................Christopher Godwin
Arlequin..................Tom Watt
Frontin...................Ken Cumberlidge

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