WILLIAMSBURG-The College of William & Mary’s Theatre Department brings a fresh take to “The Imaginary Invalid,” a timeless Molière comédie-ballet piece, later in November at the Kimball Theatre. The play offers a comedic spin to Molière’s classic tale of Argan, a hopeless hypochondriac who is constantly in pursuit of new remedies to cure his fictitious diagnoses.
The production is directed by a guest artist to the W&M Theatre Department, Vanessa Gilbert. Gilbert brings an enthusiastic background in the theatre, including a love for puppetry on the stage and a sense of humor that brings “Invalid” to life, according to a press release.
“We’ve taken the form to heart and are devising our own versions of interludes for the production that are meant to entertain and satirize our current obsession with health and wellness,” said Gilbert. She noted the play’s all-too relevant satire on the current state of the pharmaceutical business.
“The pharmaceutical industry keeps churning out medicines to aid every condition but that are accompanied with lists of side effects often worse than the affliction the medicine is meant to cure, (even death). The play calls this kind of authority out, asking that we instead use common sense and truly listen to our own inner voices.”
The show is the second live performance from the W&M Theatre Department since covid-19 paused in-person events. Audiences can look forward to a rousing, high-speed comedy that will thrill the senses.
“It is bawdy, and by that, I mean, embodied,” said Gilbert. “This is not a polite drawing room play in which characters strike a pose and wax rhapsodic about their daily lives…if the body humor doesn’t grab you, the fun of the story will. If folks enjoy the ‘American Pie’ movies or ‘Bridesmaids,’ this is likely to entertain.”
Performances will be held at 7:30pm Thursday, November 18 through Saturday, November 20 and at 2pm on Sunday, November 21 at Kimball Theatre on Duke of Gloucester Street. Tickets are currently being sold online at wm.edu/boxoffice and at the Kimball Theatre Box Office.