Don’t Fool With Love / The Blind Men 1993

Tour Information

Dont’s Fool with Love

On ne Badine pas avec L’amour, or Don’t Fool with Love, was first performed in Paris on 18th November 1861, in a version which eliminated most of the play’s language that was deemed to be ‘irreligious.’ It was not until 8th January 1923 that Musset’s original text was reinstated by the French National Theatre.

Eighteen-year-old Camille has returned from the convent where the nuns have taught her to mistrust men. Perdican, having recently received his PhD, returns to his father’s home. The childhood friends, separated for over ten years, meet again in the Baron’s castle. The Baron decides that it is certain that the young pair shall marry.

Yet, it is not love that dominates this play, it is pride. Love is overshadowed in Musset’s drama of secrecy, abandonment and separation and, in its place, lies vanity, anger and tragedy. Mussett’s play dramtises the risks and penalties that await those who meddle in the affairs of the heart without considering the consequences, bringing its audience to a shattering and fatal conclusion…


The Blind Men

The Blind Men was written by the most powerful Belgian playwright of the inter-war years. Haunted by death, god and the erotic, Michel de Ghelderode’s work is similar to that of the playwrights of the Theatre of Cruelty and of the Absurd.

Les Aveugles, or The Blind Men, was written in French and was first performed in Paris in July 1956. His plays are based on the Bible, folklore and history, and his work is frequently set in medieval Flanders.

The play was inspired by the work of the Belgian artist Pieter Breughel, whose painting ‘The Parable of the Blind Men’ (1568), with its sorrowful tone and depiction of six blind men leading each other, was described by Ghelderode as having left him ‘…with so intense a recollection that after many years, in 1933, I transported this touching pictorial anecdote to the theatre, in a few short hours and with great ease.’


Produced by Cheek by Jowl. Both plays were translated from French into English and adapted by Declan Donnellen. The first performances were given at the Arts Centre, University of Warwick on 17th Feburary 1993.

Venue City Country Date No. of Performances
Arts Centre Warwick UK 17/02/93 4
Arts Centre Cambridge UK 23/02/93 6
Theatre Royal Winchester UK 09/03/93 6
Connaught Theatre Worthing UK 16/03/93 6
Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds UK 23/03/93 5
Queens Hall Arts Centre Hexham UK 30/03/93 5
Stadsschouwberg Arnhem Holland 05/04/93 1
Cultural Centre de Maasport Venlo Holland 06/04/93 1
Schouwburg Het Casino Den Bosch Holland 07/04/93 1
Stadsschouwburg Utrecht Holland 08/04/93 1
Schouwburg De Maggd Bergen Op Soom Holland 10/04/93 1
Stadsschouwburg Amsterdam Holland 15/04/93 1
Stadsschouwburg Groningen Holland 15/04/93 1
Leidse Schouwburg Leiden Holland 16/04/93 1
Donmar Warehouse London UK 20/04/93 27
David FoxxeFather Blasius / De Witte
Anne WhiteDame Pluche
Colin McFarlaneThe Baron / Den Os
Brian PettiferFather Bridlaine / De Strop
Michael SheenPerdican / Lamprido
Maria MilesCamille
Pooky QuesnelRosette
Patrick BridgmanPeasant

DirectorDeclan Donnellan
DesignerNick Ormerod
Composer and MDPaddy Cunneen
Movement DirectorJane Gibson
Lighting DesignerJudith Greenwood
Voice CoachPatsy Rodenburg
Fight DirectorJohn Waller
Assistant to the DirectorLucy Astor
Company Stage ManagerTom Albu
Deputy Stage ManagerMichele Enright
Assistant Stage ManagerBecca Clay
Wardrobe ManagerAlistair McArthur
(click to expand)

Blind men's bluff: Paul Taylor reviews Cheek by Jowl's double bill (The Independent)

It's a drama that begins almost like a comic opera with a chorus, a pair of gluttonous rival clerics and a risibly self-important baron, and then, though these elements recur, starts to lurch into something much more sour, tragic and intellectually challenging...

Read full article…


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