The First Modern Man

A play about the remarkable Michel de Montaigne.  The sixteenth century French noble who knew how important you are.... 

More about this production


The Hen and Chickens Theatre Bar

109 St.Paul's Road,  London N1 2NA

 Highbury and Islington tube station (Victoria line - fast and frequent) is just across the road at Highbury Corner. Just look from the station and you will see the inviting shape of the Hen and Chickens.  Buses 19, 4, 43  also go  to Highbury Corner. 


Tuesday, February 19th to Saturday, 2nd March 2019.  

 Performances start at 7.30.  On Saturdays, you get two chances to see the play as there is a matinee performance at 3.00 p.m.


So buy now! If your evenings are full, don't forget the matinee on Saturday.

Our Reviews

  • "5 STARS - Remote Goat "Bravo! Hansler is a tour de force" "a treat is in store for all those of you who visit the Hen and Chickens" "Everything about it works."
  • 5 STARS - International Times "Play and actor both capture the realm of ideas."
  • VIEW FROM THE CIRCLE -"The play is an entertaining success" "Director Helen Niland has done a great job."An evening very well spent."
  • CLOSE-UP CULTURE - "a refreshing insight into the mind of someone born way before his time.....a commendable work of love."


Come and meet Michel de Montaigne!

 The witty,  humane melancholic and insightful French noble who created the essay.  His honest explorations of his own life as an examination of what it means to be  human, were thought to be very vulgar by his contemporaries, but his book of essays  was  nonetheless a best-seller. No-one had ever been quite so honest.  (Favourite food; melons. Sex: before sleep, never standing up.)  He is the ancestor of our contemporary individualism.  And a sane, wise companion.

"He who does not live a little for others, hardly lives for himself."

"Foolishness doesn't make me laugh; Wisdom does."

"Living well is the greatest of all arts."

"I cannot refuse to play with my dog when he begs me."

What they said about him...


“By travelling across frontiers, on horseback and in imagination, Montaigne invited us to exchange local prejudices and the self-division they induced for less constraining identities as citizens of the world.” 

(Alain de Boton, ‘Consolation for Inadequacy’)

"When I pick up the 'Essais', the printed paper dissolves in the half-light of the room.  Someone breathes, someone lives in me,  a stranger has approached me, and now he is no longer a stranger, but an intimate ,  a friend.  Four centuries have gone up in smoke."  (Stefan Zweig, 'Montaigne')

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