The Hypochondriac

by Molière - translated by Martin Sorrell

directed by Sarah Lynn

Performed in the Open Air at

Mottisfont Abbey

on

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.

Music

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

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Mollie Manns, Graham Buchanan, Ken Spencer, Jenni Watson
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Established 1968

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