The 10 Selected Productions

Tartuffe oder das Schwein der Weisen (Tartuffe)

Comedy by PeterLicht based on Molière

Theater Basel

World Premiere 14 September 2018

Director Claudia Bauer and her enthusiastic cast translate PeterLicht’s radical rewriting of Molière’s “Tartuffe” into fast-paced comedy. In its colourful pop outfit, betrayal shines all the brighter and our present times are firmly in their sights.

Tartuffe oder das Schwein der Weisen. Video trailer

© Theater Basel

  • 2 h 45 min, one interval
  • In German with English surtitles

Past Dates

Public discussion on 15 May, following the performance

The seemingly pious and virtuous Tartuffe deeply impresses the wealthy Orgon and unsettles his entire family, until he is gradually caught in dishonest intentions. So far the story as told by Molière. In his radical retelling, PeterLicht takes up central motifs of the work, taking aim at our present times in the process. Director Claudia Bauer and her cast of enthusiastic actors translate PeterLicht’s revealing criticism of language into lightning comedy with a colourful pop optics that makes the deceit shine all the brighter, until it finally explodes.

Jury Statement

Every era has its own hypocrisies – and the con-artists that it deserves. In Molière’s play, the wealthy bourgeois Orgon fell under the spell of religious pietist Tartuffe and terrorised his entire household with his mania. Author and pop musician PeterLicht transforms these two characters into the pig-costume wearing sex guru “Tüffi” and his biggest fan “Orgi”, who plies him with the offer of his own wife and daughter. PeterLicht’s dialogues imitate fan logic: In vertiginous cascades of wittering, they revolve around individual signal words (“hot/not hot”, “contextualise”, “workshop” etc.) until their very meaning collapses. Claudia Bauer’s world premiere production pulls off the feat of translating PeterLicht’s critique of the ethics of language into feisty and yet sophisticated humour: Decked out in pseudo-Baroque pop-outfits and Disney-wigs, the fabulous Basel company presents their know-it-alls and players on both sides of a house façade. The world is a hoax, or maybe it’s just phony – and they play along with all the creativity they can muster.


Directed by Claudia Bauer
Stage Design Andreas Auerbach
Costume Design Vanessa Rust
Lighting Design Cornelius Hunziker
Music PeterLicht
Arrangement and Conductor Henning Nierstenhöfer
Image Direction Anne-Kathrine Münnich
Dramaturgy Constanze Kargl

Mr Mrs Pernelle Katja Jung
Orgon Florian von Manteuffel
Elmire Myriam Schröder
Damis Mario Fuchs
Mariane Leonie Merlin Young
Cléante Max Rothbart
Dorine Pia Händler
Tartuffe Nicola Mastroberardino
Filipote / Live Music Henning Nierstenhöfer
Live Camera Julian Gresenz

The performance in Berlin is supported by Pro Helvetia, Swiss Arts Council.