The Miser (Garrick Theatre) - Review
Review by Shanna Schreuder
FROM the minute Lee Mack steps on stage, when the curtain goes up, to its final drop The Miser ensures the jokes keep coming hard and fast.
For some this may seem over the top, but stripping out the tragedy from Molière’s classic and replacing it with more gags only leaves room for more laughter.
Comedy legend Griff Rhys Jones is the moth-eaten, penny-pinching Harpagon who relishes in the thought that he may marry off his son, Cléante (Ryan Gage), and daughter, Élise (Katy Wix), for free.
Naturally,his two children aren’t so keen, as the candidates in question are old and ugly, and they would rather wed for love. Enter Valère (Mathew Horne),the eager-to-please servant of Harpagon,who has won Élise’s heart,and the penniless beauty Mariane (Ellie White), who has not only caught Cléante’s eye, but also his father’s.
So the master of the house sets his plan in motion, while the rest of the ensemble frantically try to derail his plans and in the process get their hands on his fortune. This seems an almost impossible task, as he’s so tight and suspicious that he openly tells the audience: “I would sooner trust a weasel with a dormouse than a banker with my money.”
The whole cast works relentlessly at delivering a comedy jam-packed with visual and verbal japes. Both Rhys Jones and Mack expertly do away with the fourth wall to poke fun at the punters and add an up-to-date touch by referencing Sports Direct, the Bank of Mum and Dad, and even the Guardian’s theatre critic, Michael Billington.
The Miser is definitely worth seeing if you want to escape from the mundane of everyday life and have a jolly good time.
Garrick Theatre, 2 Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0HH
1 March – 3 June 2017