About the showWith five years since he last made an appearance on a West End stage as Fagin in Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed production of Oliver! which closed in 2011, The Miser marks Griff Rhys-Jones’ return to London theatre, taking the lead role in Sean Foley’s new adaptation of the Moliere comedy classic The Miser
Griff is best known by many for his years of acclaimed television satire in the 1980s and 1990s with his comedy partner Mel Smith, including BBC favourites such as Not the Nine O’Clock News and Alas Smith and Jones, along with the film Morons From Outer Space, while recently he has made a move heading up much loved BBC documentaries such as Three Men in a Boat with fellow comedians Rory McGrath and Dara O’Brien.
His most acclaimed work however has always been in the theatre, having won an Olivier Award for his performance as the title character in the 1984 production of Charley’s Aunt, as well as winning another Olivier in 1994 for An Absolute Turkey. His return to the stage therefore in the lead of this comedy classic has been greatly anticipated.
Rhys-Jones is joined by the award-winning comedian, Lee Mack, in his London theatre debut. Lee Mack is well known for television and stand-up work, and his extensive sold out stand up tours.
The miser of the title is the paranoid Harpagon, played by Griff Rhys Jones, who is an ageing widower who is fanatical about protecting his wealth and suspicious of anyone who may be trying to pinch his fortune. When it comes to money, Harpagon will go to any lengths to protect it. Harpagon becomes preoccupied with being a matchmaker for his son Cleante and daughter Elise, not in any well-meaning way, but purely to ensure they received wealthy and prosperous partners, so that his riches are safe from their filching hands.
As true identities and feelings are revealed, will Harpagon allow his son and daughter to follow their true loves, or will his passion for money prove all-consuming? Love and money go head to head in this rip roaring comedy by France’s greatest dramatist.
Sean Foley’s new production of The Miser follows other great West End comedy successes such as his 2012 version of The Ladykillers and his past Garrick Theatre play The Painkiller with the Kenneth Branagh Company. The Miser also sees Foley reunited with producer Mark Goucher, whose last collaboration in Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense went on to be a huge West End success.
With an acclaimed comedy actor returning to the West End stage to take the lead, a director who has won multiple awards for his humorous adaptations and the foundations of a play written by one of the greatest dramatists of all time, The Miser is one of the most exciting comedies to hit the London stage in 2017. Performances began on the 1st March, with bookings being taken until the 3rd June 2017.
Who Should See It?Fans of Griff Rhys Jones should not miss a chance to see the much loved actor take to the stage for the first time in 5 years. The comedic pairing of an actor who excels in satire, along with West End comedy master Sean Foley, is definitely not to be missed.
Those who love seeing a classic piece of literature be brought to the West End, should ensure they get a chance to see Moliere’s 17th century masterpiece at The Garrick Theatre.