An irreverent and delicious farce where the old world meets the new, Darlinghurst Theatre Company presents The Hypochondriac, Hilary Bell’s adaptation of Molière’s classic satire for a contemporary Australian audience, in a world premiere season at the Eternity Playhouse.
Blending a nostalgic use of comic genres including Vaudeville and slapstick, with a touch of burlesque, there is no denying this adaptation of The Hypochondriac will be unlike any version you have seen before.
Argan is a needy and controlling patriarch of a household of women, and his hypochondria is the perfect means to keep them at his beck and call. But when his self obsession extends to selling off his daughter in return for on-tap medical attention, his housekeeper Toinette decides it’s time to fight back.
The Hypochondriac critiques a society of over-diagnosis and over-prescription that has us clamouring for short-cut fixes and pharmaceuticals. In place of Molière’s gypsy pastorals, Bell has infused burlesque inspired musical interludes between each Act satirising American pharmaceutical ads.
Director Jo Turner (Deathtrap, Don’t Stare Too Much) has assembled some of Australia’s finest comic actors, including award winning actor Darren Gilshenan (ABC’s Harrow, The Moodys, Janet King) as Argan. With characterisation deeply rooted in Commedia dell’Arte, Hilary Bell has grazed widely to adapt characters Australian audiences will recognise.
“Everything that happens on stage in this show couldn’t happen on screen. The Hypochondriac is a celebration of what theatre can be.” – Hilary Bell, Playwright
Director: Jo Turner Featuring: Gabriel Fancourt, Darren Gilshenan, Sophie Gregg, Emma Harvie, Lucia Mastrantone, Jamie Oxenbould, Monica Sayers Production Designer: Michael Hankin Songs: Phillip Johnston Sound Design & Additional Music: Maria Alfonsine Lighting Designer: Verity Hampson Stage Manager & Assistant Director: Amy Morcom Assistant Stage Manager: Elysse Mill Wardrobe Supervisor: Natalie Hughes Adaptation: Hilary Bell
Eternity Playhouse, 39 Burton Street, Darlinghurst
Season continues to 1 July 2018
Information and Bookings: www.darlinghursttheatre.com
Image: Darren Gilshenan stars as Argan in The Hypochondriac – photo by Robert Catto