John puts a Sheen on French farce at Minack

June 26, 2012

In July, the Minack Theatre will see why the name Sheen is synonymous with theatre at its very best. John Sheen, father of musical theatre star Caroline Sheen and uncle of award-winning actor Michael Sheen, brings his years of expertise to directing the classic Molière farce ‘The Hypochondriac’, which has been updated by legendary Liverpool poet Roger McGough.

Newport Playgoers present 'The Hypochondriac'

Hypochondriac Argan (Richard Dymond) is outwitted by his wily maid Toinette (Claudia Barnes)
(PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

“This modern take on Molière’s very funny comedy is a lavish costume romp packed with fakes – a wealthy hypochondriac who pretends to be dead, a wife who pretends to love her husband and doctors who pretend to understand medicine,” said John.

“I think we’ve concocted the perfect remedy for all the doom and gloom that’s around these days.”

Newport Playgoers present 'The Hypochondriac'

Argan (Richard Dymond) is keen to marry off his daughter Angelique (Rachel Fenwick) to a doctor – even when he’s an idiot like Thomas (Ryan Salter)
(PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

The play, which was a great success during its run at the Dolman Theatre in Newport, features several members of Playgoers who have proved a hit with Minack audiences in previous years: Richard Dymond as the eponymous Argan, Claudia Barnes as the scheming maid Toinette, Caroline Drewett-Mansell as Beline, Argan’s gold-digging wife, Rachel Fenwick as his daughter Angelique who is pursued by foppish suitor Thomas, played by Ryan Salter and the man she loves, Cleante, played by Kevin Myers.

Two years ago, Newport Playgoers enjoyed enormous success at Minack with another Molière play, ‘Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme’, and they are hoping for a repeat performance – and good weather.

‘The Hypochondriac’ by Roger McGough is at the Minack Theatre from 9th – 13th July. For more information phone 01633 263670 or visit  www.dolmantheatre.co.uk or www.newportplaygoers.wordpress.com.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Advertisements

John puts a Sheen on frantic French farce

June 22, 2012
John Sheen

John Sheen (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

The name Sheen is synonymous with theatre at its best. For proof, check out the latest production by Newport Playgoers – it’s directed by John Sheen, father of musical theatre star Caroline Sheen and uncle of award-winning actor, Michael Sheen.

John brings years of expertise to his production of ‘The Hypochondriac’, the classic Molière farce that has been updated by Liverpool poet Roger McGough.

Newport Playgoers present 'The Hypochondriac' by Roger McGough after Moliere

Comic capers in ‘The Hypochondriac’
(PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

“Following a successful run at the Dolman Theatre we’re now presenting this modern take on Molière’s very funny comedy at the famous open air Minack Theatre on the cliffs in Porthcurno, Cornwall,” said John.

Newport Playgoers present 'The Hypochondriac' by Roger McGough after Moliere

‘The Hypochondriac’ at the Dolman Theatre
(PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

“The play is a lavish costume romp packed with fakes – a wealthy hypochondriac who pretends to be dead, a wife who pretends to love her husband and doctors who pretend to understand medicine. I think we’ve concocted the perfect remedy for all the doom and gloom that’s around these days.”

‘The Hypochondriac’ by Roger McGough is at the Minack Theatre from 9th – 13th July. For more information visit  www.dolmantheatre.co.uk or www.minack.com


Proving Laughter is the Best Medicine

June 2, 2012

Add the wit of legendary Liverpool poet Roger McGough to the comic shenanigans of a classic French farce and the result is a real laughter tonic guaranteed to banish the blues.

Newport Playgoers present 'The Hypochondriac'

Argan (Richard Dymond) feels another ailment coming on, to the amusement of his brother Beralde (Chris Bissex-Williams). (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

McGough’s modern take on Molière’s play ‘The Hypochondriac’ is this month’s presentation by Newport Playgoers and centres around the antics of Argan, a perfectly healthy and wealthy gentleman, who is convinced he is seriously ill. In fact, he’s so obsessed with taking medicine for imaginary ailments that he’s blind to the naughty goings-on in his own household.

Newport Playgoers present 'The Hypochondriac'

Saucy servant Toinette (Claudia Barnes) helps Argan (Richard Dymond) with another imaginary medical problem. (PHOTO: PHIL MANSELL)

In a neat twist, his most effective cure does not come in a bottle or a bedpan, but in his sharp-tongued servant, Toinette, who has a cunning plan to reveal the truth and open her master’s eyes.

Roger McGough updates this classic Molière comedy, turning prose into verse with a witty edge. A scathingly funny lampoon on both hypochondria and the ‘quack’ medical profession, this tour de farce with its very public enemas gives the action the look of a 17th-century costume romp that could easily be re-titled ‘Carry On Up the Colon’.

Playgoers will be taking the production to the outdoor Minack Theatre in Cornwall next month so there’s another chance to see it in the unique setting of the amazing theatre in the cliffs.

Prescribe yourself a real laughter tonic and see ‘The Hypochondriac’ at the Dolman Theatre from 12 – 16 June at 7.15 pm, with an extra matinee performance on the Saturday at 2.30 pm. To book tickets call 01633 263670 or 656757.  More information is available online at www.dolmantheatre.co.uk