The Hypochondriac

by Molière - translated by Martin Sorrell

directed by Sarah Lynn

Performed in the Open Air at

Mottisfont Abbey


18th to 23rd July 2001

Sarah Lynn, the Director wrote:

The Hypochondriac

The Hypochondriac has become known as the play that killed Mollière. The great French satirist had often satirised doctors and had little use for them. He was playing the role of Argan - the hypochondriac of the title, who tries to force his daughter to marry a young physician to save on his medical bills -- when he suffered a severe pulmonary attack during a performance. He died four days later, his low opinion of what passed for modern medecine in 17th century France, apparently justified.
Molière wrote La Malade Imaginaire in 1673 as a celebration and entertainment for Louis XIV. He said his aim was 'to please'. Our aim is a happy evening in a beautiful setting.

The Translation

Martin Sorrell, the translator, makes the point that every generation has its own translation because they become dated. The publisher who took the translation, did so on condition that every word was accounted for, so that it could be used for education. we have made some extensive cuts and we have 'softened' the play a little in our interpretation - particularly the scene between Argan and his little daughter Louison, but every word is in the original. Our style of acting is not naturalistic, instead delivered in broad strokes, in harmony with the formal style of writing and suitable for the open air.


In 1673 the music for the Court productions of Louis XIV was written by Lulley. However, relations between Lulley and Mollière became strained when the King granted Lulley a monoply and publishing rights on anything that involved singing. so Mollière had the music for The Hypochondriac written by Charpentier. Since Lulley had artistic control over what was staged at Versailles, that was it for Mollière.... The play was not staged at Versailles, but at the Palais-Royal Theatre in Paris. Charpentier's music has been a big influence on the the wonderful music Mike Bailey has written for this production.

The Players
Argan, who imagines himself ill John Souter
Beline, Argan's second wife Mollie Manns
Angelique, Argan's elder daughter, in love with Cleante Emily Hodgkinson
Louison, Argan's daughter Hannah Stansbridge, Lorna Davis
Beralde, Argan's brother Brian Stansbridge
Cleante, In love with Angelique Alec Walters
Toinette, Argan's servant Jenni Watson
Dr Lillicrap, doctor of medecine Graham Buchanan
Thomas Lillicrap, his son, and would-be-fiance of Angelique Alan Watson
Dr Purgeon, Argan's personal doctor Ken Spencer
Mr Florid, apothecary Paul Baker
Mr Goodfelow, notary Guy Boney
The Queen Hazel Glenholmes, Sonia Morris
The King David Pike


Music and Dance
Musical Director Mike Bailey
Singers Janet Green, Jo Chacko, Julie Baker, Steve Powell, Matthew Powell, Richard Chamberlain
Musicians Pat Glyn - lute; Kate Dickson - harpsichord & percussion; Hannah Stansbridge - violin; Lorna Davis - recorder
Choreographer Julia Chittenden
Dancers Lindsey Almond, Diane Barney, Amy Carmichael, Felicity Costick, Stephanie Dee, Kimberley Finch, Sophie Purvis, Rosanna Roulston


For the Maskers
Director Sarah Lynn
Production Manager Sheana Carrington
Technical Manager Ken Hann
Stage Managers Angela Barks, Helen White
Assistant Stage Manager Emma Carrington
Set Construction Douglas Shiell
Set Painting Maureen Cashman, Jim Officer
Lighting Clive Weeks, Nathan Weeks, Graham Dennis, Martin Whittaker, Giles Davis, Ben Smith
Sound Lawrie Gee, Jan Gee
Properties Ella Lockett, Gill Buchanan, Irene Shiell
Special properties & furniture Ken Spencer
Wardrobe Mistress Sheana Carrington
Wardrobe Assistants Claire Littlecott, Margaret Morgan
Front of House Managers Philippa Taylor, Ron Tillyer, Julia Jupp
Marketing & Publicity Jan Ward
Programme Compilation Sandy White



click on a photo to enlarge it

Mollie Manns, Graham Buchanan, Ken Spencer, Jenni Watson

Thank You

Your message has been sent. You should receive a confirmation email shortly. If the email does not arrive it is possible that your email address was not entered correctly, please try resubmitting your enquiry.

Shirley's own LOCAL theatre!

Maskers Theatre Company
Off Emsworth Road
SO15 3LX

Registered Charity 900067

Established 1968

 Contact Us


Our postal address is: Maskers Theatre Company, Unit 1, Off Emsworth Road, Shirley, Southampton, SO15 3LX

General Enquiries Form

Please use this contact form for contacting us about any issue. Use the drop-down list to ensure your enquiry gets directed to the correct person.

Any contact details provided will only be used in relation to your inquiry and will be deleted after conclusion.

 Support Us

 Join Us

Join our Email list
and receive updates
about our shows

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Are you a member of Maskers Theatre Company?

The Maskers Theatre Company will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing by email. Please confirm you would like to hear from us by ticking the box below:

You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.


 Update Contact Details

Some of our performance venues:
Maskers Studio Theatre
The Berry Theatre
Townhill Park House

View our Image Gallery

Access Members Site (Maskers Members only)