Following sell out success adapting and directing The Painkiller Sean Foley’s new version of the classic comedy The Miser by Moliere will open in March 2017 at the Kenneth Branagh’s Garrick Theatre in London’s West End, under producer Mark Goucher.
The Miser will star much loved British comedy actor Griff Rhys-Jones in the lead role, marking his first return to the West End stage in five years.
Many will know Griff Rhys-Jones from his long running comedy partnership with Mel Smith, during which time the two starred in such BBC TV comedy favourites as Not the Nine O’Clock News and Alas Smith and Jones, as well as the film Morons From Outer Space. Much of Griff Rhys-Jones’ most recent work has been in documentaries and TV presenting, with shows such as Three Men in a Boat with fellow comedians Dara O’Brien and Rory McGrath.
It is Griff Rhys-Jones’ stage work for which he is most renowned however, winning two Olivier Awards for his performances as the title roles in Charley’s Aunt in 1984 and An Absolute Turkey in 1994. With his last West End role being in Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed production of Oliver! between 2009 and 2011, there is great anticipation for the West End return of this comedy master.
He is joined by the BAFTA winning comedian, Lee Mack, who will be making his West End debut. Best known for television and stand-up work, Mack is widely recognised as one of the country’s favourite comedians and has won a huge range of awards, as well as being the writer and star of hit BBC One comedy Not Going Out as well as being a regular on many TV panel shows.
The Miser was first produced by Moliere under the protection of Louis XIV in 1668 and follows a man called Harpagon, who is obsessed with wealth and stringy with expenses. Despite being a widower over sixty, with a son (Cleante) and a daughter (Elise), he attempts to arrange a marriage between himself and an attractive young woman named Mariane, who is already in love with his son. Meanwhile his daughter is entwined with a man called Valere, who has taken a job as a steward in their household, despite Harpagon wishing her to marry the wealthy gentleman Seigneur Anselman.
With a fast moving and complex plot, and a hilarious blend of satire and farce, Moliere’s work is in very fitting hands being adapter by Sean Foley. Foley has previously won Olivier awards in both entertainment and comedy with his 1999 play Do You Dome Here Often as well as the 2002 play The Play What I Wrote. He has also received a range of other nominations, in particular for his 2012 revival of The Ladykillers which drew great praise from audiences and critics alike.
This collaboration with producer Mark Goucher, is the first time that the pair have worked together since their hugely successful production of Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense, which saw great success both in London’s West End and on tour, and is currently under option for a Broadway season.
The Miser is set to open at The Garrick Theatre in London’s West End, with previews beginning on Wednesday 1st March 2017 and running through to Saturday 10th June.
Suitable ForThe Miser is perfect for fans of classic humour given a contemporary twist, such as with recent productions of Shakespeare’s comedies.
Fans of Sean Foley’s previous works such as The Ladykillers, The Play What I Wrote and the recent version of The Painkiller at The Garrick Theatre, should not miss this opportunity to see one of the West End’s most prolific comedy directors put his hand to this Moliere classic. With Foley’s The Dresser also running just previous to this, fans of either work are also likely to find enjoyment in the alternative.