Doctor Mal Gray Louis: Unauthorised Classics

Author: Richard Baines, Publisher: Phoenix

Doctor Mal Gray Louis from The Unauthorised Classics series by Richard Baines, with some help from Molière.

One of the hardest decisions for a school Drama group to make is simply this: Which play?

The choice must be entertaining. The text must be clear and relevant. The set must be practical. The play must have parts for a specific number of actors, male and female. The show must not go on endlessly all night. And so on.

And, occasionally, it would be nice to get away from the school musical and tackle a classic.

The Unauthorised Classics Series solves some of these problems.

Doctor Mal Gray Louis is a restructuring of Molière’s Le Medecin Malgre Lui in the style of the Italian Commedia dell’Arte.

There were no scripts in the Commedia. It was improvised theatre. It consisted of a number of stock characters, and each actor would play the one character throughout his or her career. All Commedia performers would carry comic monologues, double act routines, punch lines and bits of comic business in their heads and improvise their use when on stage. Running gags and topical allusions were a staple diet of the Commedia. The stories acted out were all variations on a theme: a rich miser wants to marry his beautiful daughter to a wealthy nobleman. The nobleman is ugly and conceited, and the girl is in love with someone else. Servants are employed to carry messages between all the parties involved. They lose the messages, fall in love with the young lovers themselves and generally cause chaos!

The Commedia was a comic, boisterous and irreverent form of theatre. So is Doctor Mal Gray Louis.

More Information
Year Level Year 7, Year 8, Year 9, Year 10
Date of Publication 2014
ISBN 9781921586903
Subject Creative Arts, Drama, English