Search

The Miser, Garrick Theatre, review: ‘Full throttle farce but gags feel relentless’

PUBLISHED: 12:30 20 March 2017

The Miser with Griff Rhys Jones, Lee Mack and Ryan Gage. Picture: Tristram Kenton

The Miser with Griff Rhys Jones, Lee Mack and Ryan Gage. Picture: Tristram Kenton

Archant

Lee Mack’s Maitre Jacques smacks the audience between the eyes with cute, wry asides that break the fourth wall, but the relentlessness of the quips from all participants is an exhausting experience

The phrase “freely adapted” decorates the programme of Sean Foley and Phil Porter’s version of Moliere’s 350 year old comedy, like a caveat booming with a klaxon-like honk.

After all, the biggest challenge facing any revival is to ensure that archaic material rings true to a contemporary audience. Adaptors must drag the past kicking and screaming into the modern age in the hope that the satire and comedy hit home.

The titular Miser, Harpagon (a full-throttle Griff Rhys Jones), is a filthy - and filthily rich - old man who secretly stashes boxes of gold about his grounds under the paranoid (mis)apprehension that his son and daughter are dying to get their mitts on his lucre.

The pair in question, Elise (Katy Wix) and Cleante (Ryan Gage), are far more concerned with affairs of the heart, however, and couldn’t care less for the trappings of fortune.

Intercut with conflicting objects of affection and the frugal motivations of their father, factions are pitted against one another in an ebullient, farcical menagerie. Lee Mack’s Maitre Jacques smacks the audience between the eyes with cute, wry asides that break the fourth wall, but the relentlessness of the quips from all participants is an exhausting experience. Particularly in the first half.

The gags shoot out like artillery fire in the hope that if you throw enough jokes, some will stick. To be fair, many do. Gage is brilliant, as is Rhys Jones. In fact, all the cast are on song, including Matthew Horne as Valere.

Whilst this Miser might not be the total misfire that some early reviews would have you believe, Porter and Foley’s folly is that Moliere’s work is too drawn out and, whilst this does engage pretty consistently, its appeal does begin to wane after its elongated wax. Rating: 3/5 stars

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hackney Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hackney Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hackney Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hackney Entertainment Stories

Thu, 09:00

His sister, Leonie Orton says: “Over the years, young men I’ve never met have come up to say they were closeted until they read Joe’s diary, that’s part of his legacy.”

Thu, 08:00

Inspired by Kim Kardashian’s 72 day marriage, this take on a Mozart’s comic opera creates a musical hybrid that features classical, electronic, and pop

Wed, 13:14

Potter, Past and Present is a literary conference with added oak matured mead

Tue, 18:30

FIVE STARS for Dunkirk, which stars Mark Rylance, Tom Hardy, Harry Styles, Kenneth Branagh, Cillian Murphy, Fionn Whitehead, Jack Lowden and Aneurin Barnard

Tue, 12:00

Enjoy a Michael Jackson zombie or Bruce Springsteen IPA at the Jones Family Project

Tue, 10:11

A buzzing, broad and exciting ‘debut’ from a multi-talented, blues-inspired musician for our times

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Joe Markovitch lived in east London for 86 and a half years. Leah Donaldson talks to Martin Usborne, who has documented his friendship with Joe in pictures

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Bridget Galton talks to a husband and wife team bringing Lewis Carroll’s anarchic and bonkers poem to the West End stage

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read entertainment

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Now in its 11th year, Field Day is bringing together an exceptional mix of artists and genres once more to an east London park.

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now