by Paula Citron
Pleiades Theatre serves an important role by doing classics in translation, and Molière’s Le Malade imaginaire has been given a snappy English treatment by Adrienne Clarkson and artistic director John Van Burek.
Director Brendan Healy has interpreted the satire about medicine in terms of commedia dall’arte. It may not be to everyone’s taste but Molière would have understood the in-your-face sensibility and stock characters back in 1673. This production is high style and high energy, and concentrates on the farce.
What is astonishing is the play’s relevance today, both in terms of fighting the ravages of age and the miracle cures we look for in our illnesses. Hardee Lineham is terrific as the hypochondriac Argan, but he has strong support. In fact there really isn’t a weak link in the cast.
Dana Osborne’s costumes are brilliant parodies of a march through the centuries. Glenn Davidson’s lighting is also strong.
Dying to be Sick continues until Nov. 4.
From the Theatre Centre, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for The New CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.