Moliere's medicinal compound

The Hypochondriac, Roger McGough's adaptation from Moliere, New Wolsey Theatre, Nov 4Roger McGough's adaptation of The Hyponchondriac (Le Malade Imaginaire) certainly gave a very different viewpoint of my experience of Moliere, gained while trying to make sense of L'Ecole des Femmes for French A level! Le Malade Imaginaire was Moliere's last play, a comic satire on hypochondria and the quack medical profession.

Roger McGough's adaptation of The Hyponchondriac (Le Malade Imaginaire) certainly gave a very different viewpoint of my experience of Moliere, gained while trying to make sense of L'Ecole des Femmes for French A Level.

Le Malade Imaginaire was Moliere's last play, a comic satire on hypochondria and the quack medical profession. Despite having been written mid-17 century the concept transported very successfully to the 21st.

Roger McGough's adaptation maintains the same basic storyline but with modern twists and references, and the rhyming is very cleverly done with some interesting pronunciations in order to achieve the rhyme. There was certainly some ribaldry, and sometimes the jokes came so fast we almost missed them, because we were still laughing at the last one!

Clive Francis was perfect as Argan - he certainly looked the part, and his timing and delivery were excellent - he knew how to play to his audience, and he certainly made us laugh.

Toby Dantzic's Thomas, the unwanted suitor, was horribly fascinating and yet very amusing too, especially during his three inappropriate speeches.

The costumes were imaginative and colourful, which added to the visual pleasure of the performance.

Most Read

Incidentally, Roger McGough was part of The Scaffold, the band which had a hit at Christmas 1968 with Lily the Pink which explains the reference to “medicinal compound” at the close of the play.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter