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The First Modern Man

The First Modern Man

The First Modern Man

Perfect Word Productions presents

The First Modern Man

Come, chat and smile with 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 and odd by his contemporaries (who saw him as the chap who shut between the French King and heir, trying to avoid another civil war), but his book of essays was nonetheless a best-seller. No-one had ever been quite so honest before him. (Favourite food; melons; sex: before sleep, never standing up; bowl movements immediately after waking up). He had views on everything, from Julius Caesar to the possibility of elephants having their own religion. All those blogs and articles you read where the writer tells you all about their personal problems, their ideas, ailments and problems with their sex life? They all started with him. He is the ancestor of our contemporary individualism, the first blogger if you like. And a sane, wise, clever companion, who loved his cat.

This version of the play is only 1h long, please be aware there is an extended version of the play, please get in touch with the writer for the full script.

Jonathan Hansler also performs all the voices you hear in the performance.


“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.”


“Jonathan Hansler is a tour-de-force… He brings the sixteenth-century character of Michel de Montaigne to life so adeptly, that there is rarely a dull moment. To soliloquise for sixty-six minutes… takes an inordinate amount of talent and confidence.”
Remote Goat – ★★★★★


“Director Helen Niland provides the icing on the cake with a production of rare quality for a small pub theatre. The whole is choreographed, the words orchestrated and the ideas delivered with simple, accessible clarity.
Montaigne extols sanity, reason and tolerance in a world gone mad. He belongs with us now and we should listen.”
Morning Star – ★★★★


Cast & Creatives

Jonathan Hansler as Michel de Montaigne
Writer: Michael Barry
Director: Helen Niland
Lighting: Venus Raven
Sound design: Julian Starr





25 May 2020 - 31 May 2020


All Day

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: 25 May 2020 - 31 May 2020
  • Time: All Day


Online Fringe Festival


Perfect Word Productions

Jonathan Hansler - who plays Michel de Montaigne - has been in tons of stuff, from 'The Libertine' on the west end stage, to John Cleese's favourite interpreter of Basil Fawlty. You'll find him in lots of comic sketches on the internet, and he showed up recently in East Enders as a rather tough radio interviewer.

Weekly Program

Dem Times
25 May 2020 - 31 May 2020

Dem TimesPermanent Shows

Online Fringe Festival,

25 May 2020 - 31 May 2020

OrbitsPermanent Shows

Online Fringe Festival,

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