REVIEW: The Hypochondriac @ The Crucible

A spleen-splitting spectacle that will have you in stitches!

Having only seen one Molière play before, which was in the original French and therefore far beyond my GCSE vocab comprehension, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Sheffield Theatres’ The Hypochondriac.

It turned out to be an absolute treat: two hours of unbridled entertainment provided by a stellar cast who never put a foot (or a note) wrong. Roger McGough’s adaptation of the classic comedy felt light, fresh and above all great fun, with witty dialogue that kept up the pace and humour all the way through the production.

Photo by Manuel Harlan

Sarah Tipple’s direction and her brilliant cast excelled at bringing the script to life, managing to make the rhyming patterns sound natural and conversational while emphasising the funniest turns of phrase and wordplay to great comic effect.

There was plenty of movement and music cleverly integrated into the story too, from Jonathan Ainscough’s on-stage musical direction to the hilarious musical mash-up that ensues when daughter Angelique’s suitor Cléante (wonderfully played and sung by Saroja-Lily Ratnavel and Zak Ghazi-Torbati respectively) arrives to declare his feelings.

Photo by Manuel Harlan

The creative team’s set design also deserves a mention for its incredible detail, transporting the audience into the mind of Argan and his seventeenth century French home even before the first actors enter the stage.

The Hypochondriac’s title character was played with almost Cleesian physical comedy and diction by Edward Hogg, leading a super talented team of people who clearly have funny bones. This felt like a production where every member of the cast and crew came together in (literally) perfect harmony, culminating in an evening of pure enjoyment that should be on prescription for anyone in need of a good laugh.

The Hypochondriac is at The Crucible until Saturday 21st October. Tickets here

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