Programme Details

Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe
The School for Wives (L’École des femmes)

Is it possible to mould the perfect wife? Molière’s comedy The School for Wives is interpreted by Stéphaneand and performed by the 200-year-old Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe. It remains as coruscatingly funny as when it was first performed in 1662.




Is it possible to mould the perfect wife?

The first performances in 1662 of Molière’s great verse comedy, L’Ecole des Femmes or The School for Wives, raised such an uproar that he wrote another play the following year called La Critique de l’Ecole des Femmes, explaining what he meant by it. His mordant view of the manipulative aspects of relations between the sexes was controversial then, and remains provocative today.

An insecure and conniving French gentleman, Arnolphe, plans to marry his ward Agnès, a girl he has deliberately had poorly educated in order to mould her into a faithful and submissive wife. A comically doomed courtship ensues, in the course of which Arnolphe schemes to thwart a romance between Agnès and a suitor far more to her liking and appropriate to her age.

Molière was a hugely popular but also often controversial playwright, never afraid to challenge orthodox thinking, and a fierce critic of the hypocrisies of his age. Stéphane Braunschweig, directing the 200-year-old Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe, has brought out the timeless relevance of the issues he raises in The School for Wives, coaxing nuanced and insightful performances from a stellar cast. Thought-provoking and psychologically profound, Molière’s coruscatingly funny satire still has as much to teach us in the #MeToo era as it had during the reign of Louis XIV.


Approx 2 hrs with no interval
Performed in French with English and Chinese surtitles
This production contains adult content




Director and Set Designer
Stéphane Braunschweig

Co-produced with 
Théâtre de Liege, Belgium

Artistic Collaborator
Anne-Françoise Benhamou

Scenography Collaborator
Alexandre de Dardel

Costumes Designer
Thibault Vancraenenbroeck

Lighting Designer
Marion Hewlett

Sound Designer
Xavier Jacquot


Photo credit

Simon Gosselin



    28 / 2 / 2020  20:00 &

    29 / 2 / 2020  15:00



    Lyric Theatre, HKAPA