First produced in 1673 and Molire's final play, The Hypochondriacis a scathingly funny lampoon on both hypochondria and the 'quack' medical profession.
Argan is a perfectly healthy, wealthy gentleman, convinced that he is seriously ill. So obsessed is he with medicinal tinkerings and tonics that he is blind to the goings on in his own household. However, his most efficacious cure will not appear in a bottle or a bedpan, but in his sharp-tongued servant, who has a cunning plan to reveal the truth and open her master's eyes.
Adapted by Roger McGough The Hypochondriac was produced by the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse and English Touring Theatre and premiered on 19 June 2009.
Molire (1622-73) is known as the greatest French writer of comedy. His plays include The Misanthrope, Tartuffe, and The School for Wives, all available in an omnibus edition from Methuen Drama. Award-winning poet, playwright and children's author Roger McGough made his name as one of the 'Liverpool Poets' with Adrian Henri and Brian Patten. He is a National Curriculum recommended poet for secondary English.
'Roger McGough's light-on-its-pieds adaptation… Though it begins with a fart, this is a not up-its-own-derriere version, in which, when a character comes out with a Gallic sentence, she's told that she should 'speak properly'. Its point may be satirical but it projects generosity.'
Susannah Clapp, Observer, 28.6.09
'Roger McGough was a comedian before he became a whimsical poet, and these skills combine happily to serve his second Moliere adaptation.'
Robert Hewison, Sunday Times, 28.6.09
'It's a tonic, guaranteed to lift your spirits and keep them high, buoyed up by the wit and dexterity of McGough's verse… A ticklish tour de farce.'
Georgina Brown, Mail on Sunday, 29.6.09
'McGough takes a variety of attitudes towards Moliere, though reverence is not among them.'
Alfred Hickling, Guardian, 1.7.09
'Roger McGough has added his own medicinal properties to Moliere's The Hypochondraic, upping the laughter quotient in an elixir that's easy to swallow though you might want to hold your nose.'
Lynne Walker, Independent, 8.7.09