Anonymous black costumes and bare stages are usual enough Fringe fare. Rather than miming around non-existent props and set, however, the National Student Theatre Company uses bodies to build locations and furniture for its production of The Hypochondriac. The result is surprisingly funny: a human billiards table, for instance, or notary's desk (complete with rectal pencil-sharpener). This physical theatre creates a pacy, gleeful production of Molière's play. Justin Chadwick pares it down to 75 minutes and trusts the audience to infer offstage developments, as a cantankerous Molière anti-hero pairs his daughter off (inevitably) with the wrong man.
Written for The Independent.
Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.
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