Discover Molière and his times  


More than 20 online programmes and resources about Molière and XVII century France are selected specifically for you. Your home is now the new stage, where theatre happens, and where you can delve into the French Golden Age with the legendary playwright and his contemporaries. 



And here's a special collection for the curious young mind.


Discover the playwright : Molière 認識著名喜劇作家 - 莫里哀

francophoie moliere theatre performance

Tartuffe &
L'École des femmes

at Hong Kong Arts Festival

4h 30min
In FR with EN/CH subtitles
Online screenings from 18 to 25 March 

Enjoy theater at home!

In celebration of the 400th anniversary of the birth of the great French playwright Molière, the HK Art Festival will present radical interpretations of Tartuffe and L'École des femmes, directed by renowned Molière specialist Stéphane Braunschweig (Artistic Director of Odéon-Théâtre de l’Europe in Paris) – for FREE viewing on the Festival website.

They are two of the peaks of Molière’s dramatic achievement. Fancy to challenge yourself with the orignial text? Scroll down to see the digital book resources.

francophoie moliere theatre performance podcast

Les Musiques de Molière

6 chapters
In French

A visual and audio journey curated by the Centre de musique baroque de Versailles. This innovative fusion of exposition and podcast (hence the term "expodcast") explores the life and career of the legendary playwright, highlighting in particular his works in relation to music and dance, and by extension, the festivities. The 6-episode podcast, along with a graphically intuitive interface, guides us through the 17th century (le Grand siècle), offering a well of beautiful texts, emblematic paintings and illustrations, valuable letters and documents, and numerous interview videos with professionals and intellectuals on the subject.

Don't have much time? You can always listen to the podcast on the go.  

A Night at the Comédie-Française

6h 05min
In French

One of the most prominent theater directors Ivo van Hove gives us the original version of "Tartuffe", banned since its first publication and never played before. Originally broadcasted live on 15 January, the programme dives into the Comédie-Française, into its multiple rehearsal rooms and grandiose halls, and gives us a close look into the behind-the-scenes of this spectacle. More fascinating are the multitudes of live interviews with the artistic team of Van Hove, including Oscar-winning composer Alexandre Desplat, and members of the Comédie Française.

Don't miss : at the end of the programme, a 30-minute tribute to Molière (Hommage à Molière) - a tradition originated in 1773 that the Maison de Molière still keeps today.

Conférences / Webinaires at Alliance Française HK :  講座

Replay :
Talk Theatre with Tang Shu Wing & Tong Yui

1h 18min
In Cantonese

Director TANG Shu-wing introduces the features of Molière’s drama works and their significance in the history of theatre, and shares his experience of and challenges in interpreting these works. The host Dr. Christophe TONG Yui also invites Tang to discuss his directorial experience with other French drama and explain French culture from a macro perspective. A special focus will be placed on the impact of French drama to the culture and performance art of Hong Kong.

Webinars :
L'âge baroque et les écrivains libertins

no replay but PPT

In French

Our speakers Johanna Daste and David Cordina have, in the time of two online webinars, explored the origins and specificities of Baroque aesthetics through the study of literary extracts, architecture and paintings, and then looked into the French literary current at the time through the free-thinking writers (les écrivains libertins) and the philosophical breakthrough they brought.

The PPT / PDF content of these webinars can now be found here.

Replay :
Wigs, Makeup, and Power

 about Kings' Costumes and Wigs in France

59 min
In English, and French

A riveting hour of conversation on the history of wigs worn by French royals and aristocrats during the French 17th and 18th centuries. Clothing, makeup, moles, wigs...: What inspired these fashion trends of that time? Paintings of the 17th and 18th century will be discussed and commented by Stéphanie Slackhouse, a Hong Kong based drag queen and David Cordina, AF's Director of Studies.


Molière : Le chien et le loup

In French

The new 10-episode podcast by France Inter rediscovers the father of modern theatre in the image of his time. Prominent guest historians reveal how he turned theatre, comedies and laughters into a weapon to question the social context, the flaws and evils of his age.

Molière, un drôle de philosophe

In French

The podcast Les Chemins de la philosophie (The Paths of Philosophy), by France Culture, dedicates 3 episodes to Molière. The first one looks at the theatrical breakthroughs of Don Juan and Le Bourgeois gentilhomme; the second at the relevation of the controversial L'Ecole des femmes; the last at the significance of the performance and audience reaction in serving the playwright's critique.

L'Avare (The Miser

In Cantonese

This long-standing show, produced by RTHK, features a play/screenplay in every episode and in a lively and cordial way - but not without a critical eye - analyzes the text. In this episode, Hong Kong theatre professionals and enthusiasts, and literary critics discuss the famous satire from Molière.

The New Tartuffe by Ivo van Hove

In French

Unlike the commonly performed version, Tartuffe ou l’Imposteur in 5 acts, Le Tartuffe ou l’Hypocrite in 3 acts, directed by Belgian theatre director Ivo van Hove, is based of the original verion of the play, banned and never played since 1664.

In this episode entitled "Non censuré, Ivo van Hove" in the podcast l'Heure bleue on France Inter, the artist talks about his revisiting of the famous play.

In His times : Grand Siècle, Louis XIV and others


Théâtre and Fables  戲劇與寓言

Short Video Lectures :
17th Century French Theatre

6min & 10min
In English

For theatre aficionados who like to dig deeper into French theatre, these video lectures are as informative as you can get. The Somerset Community College Theatre has produced hundreds of education video features on theatre studies. The first selection focuses on the prominent playwrights and significant plays; the second looks into how the French theatre flourished under the reign of Louis XIV.

Selection 1 - Selection 2

Crash Course : Theatre

13min & 12min
in English

Want something not less informative than the video lectures AND more visually enticing? Crash Course is one of the most popular edutainers. They have been providing courses on a wide variety of subjects, including theatre and drama. The first selection highlights Racine and Corneille, looking into how one reinforced theatrical conventions while the other broke them; the second teaches us about the kingly love for the theatre and, of course, Molière.

Selection 1 - Selection 2

Plays by Molière

18 books
In French

The best kinds of comedy are not those that are simply hilarious, but those that cause laughter by telling the truth.” Molière (1622 - 1673) composed the best comica/satirical plays in French history by mocking the privileged and opinionated. We are glad that he hadn't settled to be the King's carpet-maker as Jean-Baptiste Poquelin and had chosen to be Molière instead (originally his stage name as an actor). 

Thanks to the freely downloadable e-books on TV5MONDE’s digital library, we can commemorate the legend anytime, anywhere. The legend who dedicated his whole life to theatre; even until his very end, sick and coughing blood, he eventually collapsed while performing his last work "Le Malade Imagainaire", literally giving his life for theatre.

Plays by Racine

10 books
In French

If you are a fan of modern TV shows about infidelity, unrequited love and it doesn’t bug you at all when the heroine fails to achieve a happy ending, then the plays by the greatest French tragedian Jean Racine (1639-1699) are definitely for you. Orphaned young and trained at the college of Port-Royal, dominated by the Jansenists, Racine did not live a cheerful childhood and hence was able to create protagonists, particularly women, who indulged in their tracherous love lives and tortured hearts. 

Racine’s works portrayed the perfect mastery of the 5 rules in neoclassical theatre and the French alexandrine; with simple storyline yet sophisticated thoughts. Some of his most renowned plays, including Phèdre, Andromaque and Athalie are now available as freely downloadable e-books on TV5MONDE’s digital library.

Plays by Corneille

7 books
In French

Being a descendent of lawyers and an ex-lawyer himself did not stop Pierre Corneille (1606 - 1684) from breaking the conventional rules of theatre and producing one of the most controversial yet appreciated plays, the tragicomedy Le Cid. He is regarded later as the Father of classical French tragedy. A typical character of his is usually a hero who fell from fortune to misfortune due to an error in judgement or a weakness in character. 

His earlier works are mainly comedies, such as L’Illusion comique, which features “plays-within-the-play” by a magician, and Le Menteur, about a man who can't stop lying just to court a woman. Many are available also on TV5MONDE’s digital library.

Fables of La Fontaine

8 books
In French

Who hasn't heard of “The Rabbit and the Turtle”? Or “The Fox and the Grapes”,  or “The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse”? These animal stories which always end with a moral lesson are by the hands of Jean de La Frontaine (1621 - 1695), who wrote and dedicated his first book of Fables to the 7-year-old Dauphin (the eldest son of the king and heir apparent of the throne of France).

Read on TV5Monde’s digital library his famous fables, which seem to never age and are still relevant in our times. You are guaranteed to be inspired and experience a feeling of déjà vu.

History of Arts & History through Arts  藝術與歷史

A Brief History of Art :
Le Grand Siècle

In French

Blessed with the kingly love of Louis XIV, art flourished during the 17th century. The Sun King's cultural policies made French art a model across Europe, bringing French classicism to new heights. Through selected paintings representative of the time, RMN-Grand Palais takes us on a journey of art history.

After a brief look at the political and historical background, we will look at the key elements of the dominant artistic style, before enlarging our definition of "art" to shed light on another form of art that prospered : literature.

Episode 1 - Episode 2 - Episode 3 

History Through Art :
Le Grand Siècle

In French

Now that we have looked at the history of art, how about learning some history through art?

The project Histoire par l'image aims to shed light on the realities of historical events and major developments in France by revisiting the artworks of the time. What can the art of the 17th century reveal about the socio-economical, political and cultural realities at the time? This album assembles paintings that have the most to say on the issue. Each painting is accompanied by a presentation of the context, a visual analysis and expert interpretation.

History Through Art :
The King

In French

Who has the most influence on History if not the king?

Histoire par l'image also proposes an album on Louis XIV, offering more than 20 paintings, including the most recognizable "Official Portrait of the King" and "Louis XIV as Apollo" (the famous image of "the dancing king"), through which we may learn more about his glorious reign.

Louis XIV, the Sun King 太陽王路易十四

Crash Course : Absolute Monarchy

In English

Absolute Monarchy (l'absolutisme) is not unique in France but there's no better model than Louis XIV. It is political history in 13 minutes: how did the King consolidate the system? What theoretical (and theological) basis, and institutional infrastructure brought absolutism to new heights? And who, if any, dared challenge it?

I am KING: a day of King Louis XIV

J'étais ROY : 
une journée de Roi Louis XIV

In French

Ever wondered what questions you would ask the Sun King if you got a chance to interview him? In partnership with the Palace of Versailles, the France Télévisions Foundations and the Deloitte Foundation, some talented student actors and actresses from lycée Suger in Saint-Denis have produced this humorous docufiction that brings you a time travelling jouney sprinkled with funny mischefs to discover the daily life and conversatios of Louis XIV with his fellow residents of Versailles!

Louis XI the Sun King

 Louis XIV le roi soleil

50min & 50min
In French

No one is born a legend; no one but perhaps King Louis XIV, whose power had been secured even before he was born and whose reine brought forth the golden age of culture and art in France. Was his success a mere fate determined by the heaven or the result of his use of power and characters? The answer may be hidden in this rich documentary made by imineo Documentaires. From the King's birth to his legacy, a group of historians and professionals will delicately explain and decipher each important events during Louis XIV's life to you. Along with magnificent historical images and soothing music, the best history lesson of the year awaits you here! 

Episode 1 - Episode 2

King Louis XIV

19 min
In English

From his silver throne in the glittering palace of Versailles, Louis XIV watched over his kingdom, resplendent in majesty.  He made himself the centre of the French universe, and epitomised the very idea of absolute monarchy. Tune in to this podcast for a journey into the long and remarkable reign of the Sun King.

What Does He Eat?

In Mandarin

Let's look at the Sun King from another perspective: what he ate and what that told us about him. For a man whose name is almost synonymous with extravagance and exuberance, his cuisine must have definitely been extraordinary.

In this episode of the Taiwanese podcast "Eat History", the host looks into the crazy diet of the King - who kept on eating even after all his teeth got rotten and extracted!

Versailles 凡爾賽宮

Versailles in Comics

Versailles dans la bande dessinée

In French

Comic books (la bande dessinée ; BD) inspired by Versailles? This interesting curation by the Château de Versailles on Google Arts & Culture, explores how the art of comics was inspired by an older work of art - Versailles! Discover how artists have used the medium of comics to breathe life back into this gigantesque landmark weighted in gold. This is an interesting and creative perspective in understanding more about the day-to-day lives and stories that may have occurred in the Palace.

Fashion at Versailles :
For her (and him)

La Mode à Versailles : Elle (et Lui)

In French

Calling all fashion-lovers! Though the focus of this  curation, also from Google Arts & Culture, isn't exactly on the Grand Siècle period, what people in Versailles wore continues to fascinate many.

This classy curation of paintings and portraits of the iconic royal women highlights the hautre couture of the 18th century, whilst decrypting the fashion trends at the royal court. Additionally, this beautiful exhibition will demonstrate why it is no surprise that present-day designers are still inspired by this great era of fashion!

Check out Fashion for Royal Men too. 

Versailles' Dirty Secrets

Versailles : Le Propre et le sale

In French/English

The Palace of Versailles is undoubtedly known for its beauty and grandeur.  Its gold exterior matched the exuberant character of Louis XIV, the king who lived in this grand Château. But, with the many halls and the uncountable number of staff that worked and lived there, this palace certainly has its own secrets - less beautiful and not at all grand, but human. This documentary, produced by Toute l'Histoire exposes all the questionable behaviour that has once occurred in this iconic landmark.  

Also available in English.

Versailles : l'autre visite

In French

Explore the Versailles through this web-documentary, produced by TV5MONDE in partnership with the Palace of Versailles, which introduces you to the unknown objects of Versailles, true witnesses of the history of France.

In French : from level B1

Experience Versailles in VR


Are you feeling bored being stuck at home all day?  Do you miss travelling and exploring the world?  The Palace of Versailles has something for you to cure your ennui!  Their exciting virtual reality experience allows people from all over the world to explore the elegant hallways of the palace!  Let your imagination run wild as you wander through the many halls and rooms in the Palace, and immerse yourself in the deep and rich history this Château has to offer!  The experience allows visitors to learn more about the life of certain figures or discover interesting details about the life of the French sovereigns.

Kids/Teens Corner 兒童/青少年天地

Les Musiques de Molière

5 chapters
In French

This is a kids/teens version of the expodcast of the same name which explores the life and career of the legendary playwright, highlighting in particular his works in relation to music and dance, and by extension, the festivities.

Shorter, simpler et tailor-made for the young; well of knowledge nevertheless.

Molière : Quelle Histoire

In French

Since 2019, TV5Monde and Quelle Histoire have joined forces to produce a series of edutainment videos on the great characters and great civilizations of history.

Being one of the greatest writers, of course Molière is featured in the series. In 7 minutes of lovely cartoons, the animation chronicles the glorious life of the legend.

Louis XIV : Quelle Histoire

In French

The same Quelle histoire programme also features a series on Kings and Queens. Louis XIV, the Sun King (le Roi Soleil) certainly has his place in the series. 

The 72-year reign of the Bourbon King has brought prosperity in numerous aspects of life in the country. Almost impossibly, the animation tries to sum up his greatest achievements in 4 minutes.

Jean de La Fontaine :
Quelle Histoire 

In French

Also featured in the Quelle Histoire's Great Writers series is Jean de La Fontaine, known for his fables which never grow old and are still regarded as unsurpassable in the genre.

Look at the career of someone who teaches us about life and morality with stories of animals, and does it better than anyone else.

Story time : Fables of La Fontaine

3 volumes
In French

How about some story time?

Amongst the multitudes of resources on the Culturethèque - an e-library offered by the Institut Français, there is a 3-volume collection of La Fontaine's fables. On top of the lovely, and at times almost poetic visuals, one can also listen to the narration offered in the e-books.
Volume 1Volume 2Volume 3

Animation : Fables of La Fontaine

In French

The most famous fables of La Fontaine brought to life in a dozen of short cartoons produced by Les P'tits Z'Amis, a channel which offers plenty of cartoons of famous French tales for kids.