Wednesday, 5 July 2017

The Imaginary Invalid

And so to the theatre. I have been to see 'The Hypochondriac', an English adaptation of Molière's 'Le malade imaginaire'. Somewhat to my surprise  my companion for the evening claimed to be very familiar with the original French version - your bloggist is not normally out-bragged in the field of culture; I must be slipping - and she seemed to think it stuck closely to the source material. There were certainly plenty of seventeenth century costumes on display: breeches, elaborate wigs and heaving bosoms. Indeed one almost wanted to quote from the same playwright's Tartuffe to the actress playing Beline:

"Couvrez ce sein que je ne saurais voir.  
Par de pareils objets les âmes sont blessées"

It was, of course, very funny; albeit much of the humour being somewhat scatological. Still, surely even a pseudo-intellectual can be allowed the occasional snigger at a man pretending to be straining on a commode? No? Perhaps it's just me. It also featured a woman being sawed in half on stage, which I'm pretty sure is the first time I've ever seen this classic conjuring trick performed live; another box ticked.

The only odd note was the tacking on after the curtain call of a scene depicting the death of Molière, the author having indeed died while performing the lead role of Argan. It put me in mind of the performance of Turandot I saw many years ago in Gothenburg where Puccini's death was played out equally pointlessly.

No comments:

Post a Comment