Réjane Desvignes, Igor Bauersima

Bérénice de Molière
2 D, 3 H
UA: 27.02.2004 · Burgtheater, Wien · Directed by: Igor Bauersima
A curiosity in the history of literature: in the time of Ludwig II, two French playwrights, Corneille and Racine, write simultaneously about the same subject: Bérénice. Even the first performances of both plays happen within days of each other. The subject is the same for both: How to reconcile reason and passion?
Corneille, over sixty, is unsuccessful with his play, for he is still a rationalist who believes in the ability of man to control his passions in favour of higher ethical principles of reason. Meanwhile, Racine is the voice of the 30-something generation: more sceptical (and more realistic), he describes man as a playball of his passions and struggles (in this he is a classicist) for him not to lose the fight, but also asks for the cost of sacrifice.
How could it happen that both were writing the same play at the same time? There is speculation about the countess of Orléans commissioning both plays, each author not knowing about the other. But what would have happened if the countess had also contracted the nearly fifty-year-old comedian Molière?
A story about a woman and three men, three playwrights: an intelligent enlightener, a romantic tragedian and a sceptical comedian…
A Bérénice de Molière, which however never was written. (Announcement of the Burgtheater Wien)
Translated into: French