The Stirling Players
Stirling Community Theatre
Until 25 Sep 2021

Review by Ross Johnston

Last night I had the pleasure to see the Stirling Players production of “The Hypochondriac” at the Stirling Community Theatre. The play was written in 1673 by French playwright and actor, Jean-Baptiste Poquelin who wrote under the nom de plume of “Molière”. Enough history – now for the review.

The whole play is set in the bedroom of Argan, the hypochondriac played by Dave Salter. Dave’s performance was very impressive, and he played the role to a tee. His professionalism shone through when a hand prop malfunctioned which caused many a giggle in the audience. All the principal characters performed to a high level and at stages during the performance “stole the show!” Toinette, the maidservant, played by Nicole Rutty had our attention from the very start and her comic asides were well received by all. Béline, Argan’s second wife, played by Georgia Stockham, was the best at being the “gold digger wife” who can’t wait to spend Argan’s money when he dies. Her entrances were perfectly choreographed to the opening bars of the song “Big Spender.” Angélique, Argan’s oldest daughter, played by Lucy Johnson, shone as the loving daughter who wants to marry Cléante, not the man chosen by Argan.

The plot is one of romance, hypochondria and skullduggery set in a comic way. Obviously, medicine in those days was very dodgy and poor Argan fell for all their charms and potions. The play had its “modern quirks” too. Toinette playing with a Rubik’s Cube and then using a mobile phone to play music for Angélique to sing to. Béline rocking a great pair of sunglasses hundreds of years before they were invented.

The set designed by Bob Peet was very impressive and set the whole atmosphere of the play. Congratulations to all the other Tech Departments for their efforts. Finally, if you want to have a good laugh, then definitely don’t miss seeing “The Hypochondriac”!