20-25 October 2014
Reviewed by Meresa Bergin
As a fan of Tony Robinson I was thrilled to review The Hypochondriac – a play about a healthy, wealthy man who has a list of imaginary ailments, it sounded right up my street.
I loved the simple set which allowed you to focus more on actors and what was happening.
Andrew Bevis is the first to come on stage with his band as he delighted us with an array of the songs such as drugs, drugs, drugs and blood in my poo which I must admit was my favourite and stuck in my head all the way home.
Then we got to meet Argan a man who is dying from all sorts of ailments and must get his maid to check his bowel movements everyday, bottle and label them. He has every problem under the sun and has been told he is dying many times at which he seems delighted.
It is clear to everyone around him from his gold digging wife who wants to bleed him dry when she is not dry humping her lawyer behind his back on the sofa, to his housemaid Toinette who has outstanding one liners and chemistry with all the cast, that he is perfectly well.
The Hypochondriac was first performed in 1673 but still rings true today that we would rather feel we were ill, take anything the doctor will give us then really take responsibility for ourselves. Believing every cough will kill us and headaches are brain tumours rather than going out into the fresh air we stay cooped up in our little rooms.
Argan wants to force his daughter Angelique to marry the son of a doctor so he will always have a doctor to ease his woes at hand but she loves another, so he insists she become a nun. This decision delights his young wife Beline who wants him to die and inherit his money.
So his maid Toinette and brother must do their best to convince Argan he is not really ill, which tonic for the soul for us to see.
Tracie Bennett as Toinette is a standout performer bringing you to tears of laughter and leaves you with a happy soul. Lisa Diveney as Angelique is also one to watch!
And I truly think Andrew Bevis should go on the road with his musical delights about the human body and its ailments! He was the highlight of my night.
Believe me after this show you will be singing there is blood in my poo without a care in the world!
If ever a play was made for me want to watch it again with fresh eyes, it is this. Go see it, it will cure all your ailments!
Tickets cost from £11.90 to £40.40 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
The Hypochondriac is at the Theatre Royal, Brighton until 25 October 2014. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 871 7650.
Theatre Royal. New Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1SD | 0844 871 7650