A play about the wise, witty, humane French writer and philosopher, Michel de Montaigne, whose fertile mind created the essay, and whose direct honesty about his own life, makes him the ancestor of all those article and feature writers who entertain us by baring their souls.
'The First Modern Man' had a run of two weeks at The Hen and Chickens theatre, Islington, North London in 2019.
'The First Modern Man' production at 'The Hen and Chickens theatre in 2019 ran for an hour, with no interval. (An 'Edinburgh' format) . It was originally conceived as a full-length stage play (one and a half hours, one interval) and a script can be available in this format.
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."
“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 'Essays', 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')