by PeterLicht nach Molière
World premiere/commissioned work
Premiere 20. December 2019
2 Hours 15 Minutes
No break
Recommended for ages 15 and above

«The Imaginary Invalid», Molière’s fifth comedy, which deals with the medical profession and the cures they practice, possesses a unique and rather macabre place within theatrical history: Molière, who played the imaginary invalid himself in the original production in 1673 and was already severely ill, had a haemorrhage on stage and died a few hours later.


It is centred on Argan, who not only imagines he is ill, he actually is: he is suffering from hypochondria. As a result, he cannot and will not relate to his social surroundings any differently than he does to his misfortune, which he circles in tyrannical self-reflection. With «The Imaginary Invalid», the Cologne-based writer and musician PeterLicht writes his fourth new version of Molière: in his customary playful language he dissects both the individual body and the body of society and breaks the final taboo of neoliberal self-optimisers – that of mortality.


«Argan is an outstanding performer of sensitivity. He is inclined towards immortality, in other words he wishes to carry on doing forever what he is supposed to do as a living creature, i.e. LIVE: how could it be any different? He is a LIVING creature, for him there is no such thing as death, only the FEAR of death. Death has been abolished. But unfortunately it is not entirely clear whether this really worked, this abolition. Argan has replaced death with strategies for replacing death.  And for maintaining his health, which is the same thing. There is a simple equivalence: as long as one is healthy, one isn’t dead yet. That much we do at least know. Although … » PeterLicht


Claudia Bauer continues her successful collaboration with PeterLicht and in «The Imaginary Invalid» produces a world premiere by the author for the third time.

About the Autor PeterLicht

The work of the German musician and author PeterLicht operates between text and music, pop culture and theatre. He has released numerous albums including «14 Songs» (2001), «Songs of the Stratosphere» (2003), «Songs from the End of Capitalism» (2006), «Melancholy and Society» (2008), «No More Complaints» (2011), «In Praise of Reality» (2014) and «When We’re All Different» (2018). 2006 saw the publication of his first book «We Will Win – the Book of the End of Capitalism». This was followed by «History as I Estimate it at the Beginning of the Third Millennium » (2008, winner of the 3sat Prize and the Audience Award at the Ingeborg Bachmann Competition 2007) and «In Praise of Reality» (2014). In 2009 PeterLicht curated the «Festival of the Invisible Human» at the Münchner Kammerspiele. The following of his plays have been performed: «Clearing Spaces» (world premiere 2009, directors: PeterLicht and S.E, Struck, Münchner Kammerspiele), «History as I Estimate it at the Beginning of the Third Millennium » (world premiere 2009, director: Florentine Klepper, Theater Basel), «The Miser. A Family Portrait after Molière» (world premiere 2010, director: Jan Bosse, Maxim Gorki Theater Berlin), «The Disappearance of States» (world premiere 2010, director: Mareike Mikat, Schauspiel Leipzig), «Everyday Miracles» (world premiere 2012, director: Peter Kastenmüller, Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus), «The Whoosh of the World» (world premiere 2013, director: SEE!, Schauspiel Köln), «The Misanthrope» (world premiere 2016, director: Claudia Bauer, Theater Basel) and «Tartuffe or the Philosopher’s Swine» (world premiere 2018, director: Claudia Bauer, Theater Basel). «The Imaginary Invalid or the Enema of Pure Reason» was written as a commissioned work for the Residenztheater. In the winter term 2020/21 PeterLicht is Visiting Professor at the German Institute for Literature at the University of Leipzig.



Artistic Direction

Direction Claudia Bauer
Stage Design Andreas Auerbach
Costume Design Vanessa Rust
Arrangements und Musical Direction Henning Nierstenhöfer
Lighting Gerrit Jurda
Dramaturgy Constanze Kargl


Antonia Münchow
Angélique, seine Tochter
Henning Nierstenhöfer
Musiker (Elektronik, Posaune)
Cornelius Borgolte
Musiker (Elektronik, Saxofon, Klarinette)
Jaromir Zezula
David Müller
Niels Voges