Cast: Goodman Suffers Hypochondriac, Like FinaleDate: 5 September 2005
Double Olivier Award winner Henry Goodman (pictured) will take the title role in Moliereís 1673 comedy The Hypochondriac (aka The Imaginary Invalid) at the Almeida Theatre this autumn (See News, 10 Jun 2005). The new version by Richard Bean opens on 17 November 2005 to 7 January 2006 (previews from 10 November).
A quintet of quacks, a dizzy daughter and a meddling maid. What's a poor invalid to do? Argan, a confirmed hypochondriac, is determined to marry off his daughter Angelica to someone suitable - a doctor - so that he can benefit from free medical treatment for his endless imagined illnesses. Unfortunately for him, Angelica has other ideas.
Goodman, who plays Argan, was last seen earlier this year in the West End production of Harold Pinterís The Birthday Party. His many other London stage credits include Art, Guys and Dolls, Angels in America, Feelgood, Follies, Chicago, as well as The Merchant of Venice and Assassins, both of which he won Oliviers for. No further casting has yet been announced.
Richard Beanís other original stage plays include Under the Whaleback, Honeymoon Suite, Toast, The God Botherers and Harvest, which premieres this month at Londonís Royal Court (See News, 1 Aug 2005). The Hypochondriac is directed by Lindsay Posner, who directed Goodman in the Pinter play and who also helms the UK premiere production of David Mametís Romance, which starts previews at the Almeida this week with a cast including Frasierís John Mahoney (See News, 22 Jul 2005). Giles Cadle designs.
In other casting updates, from tonight Ben Keaton joins the cast for the final two weeks of David Lanís 1940s-set production of As You Like It at the West Endís Wyndhamís Theatre. He takes over as the melancholy Jacques from comedian Reece Shearsmith who must leave early to fulfil previously agreed League of Gentlemen commitments. Earlier this summer, Whatsonstage.com heard that Jude Law, a keen supporter of director Lan and his Young Vic, might be approached to step in to perform on the same stage with his erstwhile fiancťe Sienna Miller, who plays Celia. Sadly, that rumour was scotched. Keatonís theatre credits include The Play What I Wrote, American Buffalo and Animal Crackers. The production, which also stars Helen McCrory (Rosalind) and Dominic West (Orlando), concludes its limited season on 17 September. It opened on 21 June 2005 (previews from 3 June).
- by Terri Paddock