The Hypochondriac

Date 23rd May 2013
Society Bramrocks
Venue Margaret Mack Room, Rockland St Mary
Type of Production Play
Director Nick Dixey


Author: Susan DuPont

Moliere’s ‘The Hypochondriac’, it may be 1673 writing but what an excellent translation/adaptation into a very funny and crisp play which sped along with pace.

 Liked the setting very much, so appropriate and simple with the chair and library shelves, and ideal on the small stage. Also very well dressed in period.

The casting was extremely good with the correct ages portrayed over the range: those two young men Joe Daniels and Matthew Stokes had great presence and the correct styles and portrayals, the one the dullard with that monotone voice to read the letters and the other bright eyed, handsome and in love with the girl, Angelique (Abi Holmes) who was lovesick and unhappy at her father’s marriage plans, this trio the future for the group.

 As the hypochondriac Argan, Ken Holbeck gave a masterful interpretation of this wonderful role, a true cameo character with the humour well displayed through his tantrums and ravings and plottings: almost a ‘Salieri’ character and what a chance to be offered a role like this, he must have thought it was a dream to realise such a dominating part throughout this excellent play.The ladies in his life, the second wife Beline (Bethany Marshall) who really just wanted to cheat him of his money, and his strong minded sister Berenice (Jessica Adby) who wanted to stop the marriage and money plottings were strong character roles and played to the full.

And one should not forget Bob Scott  in the tiny role of M.Purgon who rushed on and delivered his amazing speech and rushed off to tremendous applause, that is how to milk the audience!

As Toinette the maid who masterminds so much of the plot plus being ‘chorus’, Liz Scott gave all a master-class in timing and speech and dead-pan perfection of characterisation, another role to delight in her performance.

 I must congratulate all the cast in their strong and clear delivery and projection of lines, this play was delivered in style.