Review: The Hypochondriac

Je Regrette… Pas.

This light adaptation of Moliere’s Le Malade imaginaire, The Hypochondriac, draws life from the city as Liverpudlian theatre from the hand of Liverpool’s foremost poet-turned playwright, Roger McGough. McGough’s script rhymes its way through the lampoon of this perfectly healthy, wealthy gentleman convinced that he is seriously ill. His concern for his imminent death leaves him somewhat naive to the goings on in his own household; though his obsession with tonics and colonics cannot prevent the bubonic… sorry, it’s rather contagious. This light-hearted attack on hypochondria and the ‘quack’ medical profession did however leave a somewhat unsatisfactory feeling. I prepared for belly laughs but received only few, with the audience’s taste in humour split throughout. The script appeared to try a little too hard at times with more the subtle facial expressions of Clive Francis (Argan) and Toby Dantzic (Thomas) bringing the audience to life. A perfectly upstanding production but arguably unimaginative in its design and suffering from the typical overlong and underwhelming first act with the reveal of the more imaginative direction, changes in set and best of the humour in the second. However, it’s delightful in places and well worth going to see for another fun Liverpool take on a classic work.

The Hypochondriac, Liverpool Playhouse Theatre to 18th July and on tour from September.

theatreJunki © 2009

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