The miserly Argan is filthy rich, ridiculously healthy and beset on all sides by every ailment he can imagine.

So describes the lead character in Richard Bean's The Hypochondriac, played in this latest production - taking place at Richmond Theatre from the 24-29 of this month - with a suitably cunning plan by Tony Robinson.

The actor who will always be famous for his role as Baldrick in the comedy series Blackadder and his role as host of Channel 4's Time Team , heads a cast which also features Imogen Stubbs as his scheming wife Beline.

The story, which is based on the ballet The Imaginary Invalid by French playwright Molière sees the increasingly unstable Argan trying to ward off the attentions of a gang of eccentric doctors who are determined to fleece him out of his fortune.

Only his love-sick daughter, her dashing lover and an astute maid are able to try and make him see the truth.

Tony, who made his West End debut as the Artful Dodger in Oliver! and was knighted in 2013, is already familiar with the stage of the Richmond Theatre having brought his Cunning Night Out show there in 2007.

Imogen is a leading actress of her generation with credits including Othello , A Streetcar Names Desire and Betrayal as well as TV work on shows such as Anna Lee and The Rainbow .

 

Tracie Bennett plays the role of Toinette having appeared at the Theatre Royal playing the role of Judy Garland in  End of the Rainbow   in 2011 - a performance which earned her standing ovations throughout the UK tour and the West End run.

She has performed in Les Misérables ; La Cage aux Folles , receiving the Whatsonstage Award for Best Supporting Performance in a Musical; and Hairspray   and She Loves Me,  winning an Olivier Award for Best Supporting Performance in both.

Her television work includes Scott & Bailey, Casualty, Doctors, New Tricks, Coronation Street, Next of Kin  and Joking Apart .

Others in the case include Craig Gazey who played Graeme Proctor in more than 250 episodes of Coronation Street and recently appeared in the West End version of The Full Monty and David Collings who has worked in the West End, at The Barbican and with the Royal Shakespeare Company.

The play is directed by Lindsay Posner who back in the summer was at the helm for Hay Fever starring Felicity Kendal

French playwright and actor Molière is considered to be one of the greatest masters of comedy in Western literature, his plays also include  The Misanthrope, Tartuffe, The Miser  and  The School for Wives . In 1673, during a production of this, his final play, Molière, was taken ill while playing the part of the hypochondriac Argan. Although he finished the performance he died a few hours later.

The show is on Mon – Sat, 7.30pm,  with Wed & Sat matinees at 2.30pm

Box Office: 0844 871 7651 (fees apply)
www.atgtickets.com/richmond  (fees apply)

Tickets: In person at the box office £10 - £32.50 (Premium Seats £37.50)

Online & telephone bookings £11.90 - £37.90 (Premium Seats £40.40)