In this new version by playwright Richard Bean, Goodman plays Argan, who loves to be sick and takes great offence at being told he looks well. Goodman will be joined by the comedienne Ronni Ancona, who is best known to British television audiences as an impressionist. Ancona made her London stage debut last year in Adam Cooper’s production of Singin’ in the Rain at Sadlers Wells Theatre.
The Hypochondriac is directed by Lindsay Posner and the production comes hard on the heels of another Posner-directed Almeida farce, David Mamet’s Romance, which featured John Mahoney as a court-room judge high on drugs.
With recent revivals of A Life in the Theatre, starring Patrick Stewart, and Sexual Perversity in Chicago, with “Friends” star Matthew Perry, Posner has become London’s foremost director of Mamet.
Goodman’s recent roles include Goldberg in Posner’s West End production of Pinter’s The Birthday Party and the title role in Richard III for the Royal Shakespeare Company. His Shylock in Trevor Nunn’s 1999 National Theatre production of The Merchant of Venice is thought by many observers to be the definitive contemporary performance in the role.
Less successfully, Goodman was also the casualty of one of Broadway’s most notorious sackings when, while replacing Nathan Lane as Max Bialystock in The Producers, Goodman was suddenly fired during previews.
The Hypochondriac was Moliere’s final play. He died a few hours after being taken ill onstage while playing the title role.