Shelves: humorous-satire , plays , reviewed I read the English translation of La Cagnotte Pots of Money in English , and I suspect that it is a play that would be likely to translate better on stage than it did on the page. First of all, the play was chock-full of physical comedy, which is never going to be as funny on paper as in person. Secondly, the cast of this play was fairly large, so at times it was a little challenging to keep track of everyone. Finally, the setting seemed to me like another character in the play, and I just I read the English translation of La Cagnotte Pots of Money in English , and I suspect that it is a play that would be likely to translate better on stage than it did on the page. Finally, the setting seemed to me like another character in the play, and I just think things would have been more engaging with a proper set framing the action.
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It is a good choice insofar as it already brings together the qualities which will characterize the whole series.
To introduce the series, the producer has quite rightly opted for comedy, but of course not any type of comedy. For sure the tone of the play is light and the mishaps the characters go through produce laughter but the laughs "La Cagnotte" generates are never gratuitous. Sight gags or mere puns are never good enough for Labiche whose taste for satire is well known; what he really aims in his works is to criticize the petty-bourgeois attitudes of his characters, and by extension the low-grade "values" of the whole society.
It is indeed their arrogant self- satisfaction that leads them to catastrophe. Or almost With made-for-TV"La Cagnotte", you are entitled to a well-crafted product, directed by one of those competent filmmakers mentioned above, in this case Philippe Monnier, and interpreted by a cast that ventures off the beaten path.
French rocker Eddy Mitchell is not the obvious choice for the role of Champbourcy, a nineteenth century annuitant who takes himself seriously, but his performance is so convincing that after one minute or two, you easily forget who he is in real life. Likewise, Philippe Chevallier and Alain Doutey would probably not be the first choice of a casting director, but as two local notables, friends of Champbourcy, they are perfect.
The direction is vivid, the angles and settings a few exteriors are filmed in historical Le Mans are more varied than for a stage performance. As for the script, it has been aptly reduced to the 60 minute format by veteran Jean-Charles Tacchella. Of course some secondary characters the tax collector, the grocer, the greengrocer A last good point, common to the whole series, is the intelligent use of music of the past to illustrate the story.
In this case, who could have been more in harmony with the superficial characters willing to live the Parisian life than Jacques Offenbach? I recommend "La Cagnotte". It is the well done first episode of a worthwhile series. Was this review helpful to you?
LA CAGNOTTE (Il salvadanaio – The Piggy Bank ) – Eugène Labiche
Early life[ edit ] He was born into a bourgeois family and studied law. A few others followed, but failed to catch the attention of the public. A year later, his wife released him from his vow, and Labiche recalled the incident when he dedicated the first edition of his complete works to her. It is an accomplished specimen of the French imbroglio -style play, in which someone is in search of something, but does not find it till five minutes before the curtain falls. For the next twenty-five years, he continued to write successful comedies and vaudevilles, all basically constructed on the same plan and containing a dose of comic observation and good sense. Essentially mediocre in his vices and in his virtues, he stands half-way between the hero and the scoundrel, between the saint and the profligate. Emile Augier said: "The distinctive qualities which secured a lasting vogue for the plays of Labiche are to be found in all the comedies written by him with different collaborators, and are conspicuously absent from those which they wrote without him.