Don't Dress for Dinner
PUBLISHED: 11:01 19 June 2008 | UPDATED: 09:10 10 June 2010
Frenetic French farce at its best made ideal entertainment for a summer evening at the Blackmore Theatre last Thursday, when a strong and energetic Exmouth Players cast, under the imaginative and perceptive direction of Peter Nichols-Rawle, gave a slick production of Marc Canoletti's Don't Dress for Dinner, which delighted the opening night audience.Don't Dress for Dinner
Frenetic French farce at its best made ideal entertainment for a summer evening at the Blackmore Theatre last Thursday, when a strong and energetic Exmouth Players cast, under the imaginative and perceptive direction of Peter Nichols-Rawle, gave a slick production of Marc Canoletti's Don't Dress for Dinner, which delighted the opening night audience.
In a converted French farmhouse, Bernard is preparing to entertain his chic Parisienne mistress, Suzanne, whilst his wife, Jacqueline, visits her mother. He has booked a Cordon Bleu cook and has invited his best friend Robert. Jacqueline and Robert are secret lovers. She cancels her visit to her mother when she discovers he is coming to stay and he is drawn into Bernard's tangled web of deceit, as are Suzanne (who is mistaken for the cook) and Suzette the cook (who is mistaken for Suzanne). Confusion reigns as Bernard and Robert improvise at breakneck speed.
Norman Warne and Iris Searle gave strong performances as Bernard and Jacqueline, capably capturing the change of mood in fluctuating circumstances.
An impeccable performance came from Tim Othen as the hapless Robert. His facial expressions and movement were a delight and his memorable explanation speech near the end drew spontaneous applause from the audience.
Fin O'Leary gave a polished performance as Bernard's stylish actress mistress Suzanne and her attempts at being a cook were hilarious.
Alison Johns was in fine form as the highly resourceful Cordon Bleu cook Suzette, who became Robert's lover, then his niece - at a price.
A pleasing cameo performance came from Ben Redding as George, causing further confusion as he came to collect his wife and, at one stage, became violent and had to be restrained.
After all the frantic activity there was a gentle and effective ending to complete this sparkling performance.
Don't Dress for Dinner runs every Thursday and Friday at the Blackmore Theatre until July 24 and 25, curtain up at 8pm. Tickets are available from Exmouth Tourist Information Centre, Manor Gardens - telephone: (01395) 222299.