The Illusion

Directed by Mark Brickman

Enter Pridamant, a father grieving for the wayward son he cast out 10 years ago. His last resort in his search for him is to consult Acandre the magician, famous for his many powers.

The magus waves his wand and Clindor, the prodigal son, appears. The lost years are magically evoked before our very eyes as the cave is transformed into a palace, a prison, and a lover's arbour within which Clindor's adventures in love and adversity are unravelled for the marvelling old man.

We meet Isabelle, the object of Clindor's love, for whom he swindles, flights and cheats; Lyse, her jealous handmaid; Adraste, his dangerous rival, and Matamore his swaggering giant of a master who turns out to be as brave as a bubble...

But are these adventurous visions more illusions, and will the old man ever be truly reunited with his son?

Corneille's masterpiece, written in 1635, the year before his famous tragi-comedy Le Cid, was given a triumphant revival by Giorgio Strehler in Paris in 1984.

Image by Iain Lanyon



  • - Midlands Arts Centre (Birmingham)
  • - Fermoy Centre (Kings Lynn)
  • - Angles Theatre (Wisbech)
  • Gordon Craig Theatre (Stevenage)
  • - Georgian Theatre Royal (Richmond)
  • - Dovecot Arts Centre (Stockton-on-Tees)
  • - Epsom Playhouse (Epsom)
  • - Stahl Theatre (Oundle)
  • Old Bull Arts Centre (now The Bull Theatre) (Barnet)
  • Queen's Hall Arts Centre (Hexham)
  • - Stanwix Arts Centre (Carlisle)
  • Aberdeen Arts Centre (Aberdeen)
  • Trinity Arts Centre (Tunbridge Wells)
  • - Everyman Theatre (Cheltenham)
  • Cricklade Theatre (Andover)
  • - The Theatre (Chipping Norton)
  • - Old Town Hall Arts Centre (Hemel Hempstead)
  • - Gulbenkian Studio (now Northern Stage) (Newcsatle-Upon-Tyne)
  • - Bulmershe College (Reading)
  • - Fareham
  • Vandyke Community College (Leighton Buzzard)
  • - Old Town Hall Arts Centre (Havant)
  • - Taliesin Arts Centre (Swansea)
  • Wyeside Arts Centre (Builth Wells)
  • - The Hafren Theatre (Newtown)
  • - Horsham Arts Centre (now The Capitol Horsham) (Horsham)
  • - Central Studio (Basingstoke)
  • - Lyric Studio Hammersmith (London)