As is the case in most if not all of Moliere’s
shows, this one provides a biting satire on French society, especially in the
upper class. This is a show about pretense, about a facade of opulence that
hides a more self-indulgent reality.
In the scenery I opted to accentuate this element of
reality being nothing but a facade. The scenic elements are disjointed.
Nothing connects. Most detail is painted on. It is fake. While opulent, the
environment is also sterile. The only real furniture is the bed.
...And what a bed this is! If only Argan put his
energy and creative talents into productive use... Rather, Argan places all
his energies into keeping the facade alive. In this production he literally
lives in this bed. It is like Hugh Heffner’s Playboy bed of the 1960s but
designed for a purpose less fun than sex.
While at the start of the show, the bed looks to be
quite ordinary to the audience members, they soon discover that this bed is
designed to meet most of Argan’s warped needs. The rear upholstery opens to
reveal an on-board medicine cabinet. The canopy structure includes rigging
that can attach to his feet to better position him for his regular enemas. The
bed itself is mobile and can be positioned anywhere in the room so that Argan
can rule over his household from the bed.