The following tale was recounted in the Dublin University magazine in 1868 concerning MoliÃ¨re. This occurred in 1662:
But instead of settling the company at the Tuilleries they made over to them the theatre built by Cardinal Richelieu at the Palais Royal, for the performance of his poor play “Mirame.” Alas! it was now in a deplorable plight, the great beams nearly rotten and the audience portion half unroofed.
Leave was given by Monsieur to transport the loges, and other accessories of the Salle (audience portion) of Le Petit Bourbon to the Palais Royal. Moliere might also have taken the scenery, machinery, properties, and other furnishing of the theatre behind the curtain, but the detestable vandal, Vigarani, machinist to the king, put an effective veto on the removal. These ingenious and splendid scenes and pieces of machinery designed by Torelli, were the wonder of the age, and had contributed to the glory of L’Orpheo of the Italian company, and L’AndromÃ¨de of Corneille. Vigarani, despairing of producing anything like them for the king’s private theatre, had them destroyed. We read in the Register of La Grange, “He made these decorations be burned, ay to the very least, in order that nothing should remain of the invention of his predecessor, the Sieur Torelli, whose very memory he wished to bury in oblivion.
So here were our poor theatrical friends driven to the ruinous house, now a thorough desert behind the curtain. As to the Salle and its parcel-roof the inconvenience was not beyond remedy. Had not the ingenious and gifted company often performed in more wretched places in the provinces? But scenery and some simple machinery were absolutely necessary, and till these were forthcoming Moliere and his people remained “on the flags,” as they say in Paris.