French without tears
Polish up your french at this Rattigan classic now at Oldham Coliseum
Oldham Coliseum staged Terrence Rattigan’s 1936 slightly anarchic comedy French Without Tears. Rarely revived, the play presents to the audience the vulnerability and arrogance of youth.
It is a play of its time and exposes the flamboyant values and misogyny of men. Romantic overtures, lies and deception frame the farcical plot. The vampish Diana has all the attention and is the domineering orbit of femininity, betrayal and anxiety. Her Sirenesque appeal lures fresh meat onto her rocky heart and feeds on their whispered sweet nothings …. only the cad is immune.
The men, often behaving like children, brawl, frolic and comfort one another with public school camp overtones! The comedy provokes subtle questions about masculinity and brotherly companionship.
Set in France much humour is in French and the audience can purchase, as part of the programme, a seven page translation sheet which explains the ‘French Bits’. Not easy to follow in a darkened auditorium. If you don’t understand French some of the humour may be lost but this does not detract from any understanding of the play and in fact it acts as a metaphor for the lack of communication and understanding between the characters.
Diana Lake played by Florence Roberts is superb and uses her femininity and coquettish charm to full effect.
The play is well cast with hilarious antics from Kit Neilan played by Joe Eyre. Alan Howard is played by Ziggy Heath. This is his first professional stage role and successfully engages the audience with his stage presence, witty flair and frenetic gestures.
The beautiful set and 1930’s costumes are wonderful and high praise goes to all in the casting, creative and production teams. Well worth seeing …. If only to polish up your French!
Showing now at Oldham Coliseum until sat.Click here to book.
By Paul Sanderson-Johnson for Canal St Online
Reviewed by Canal-st.co.uk on .
story published on Wed, 26 Oct 2016
Martyn Hett Please join us to pay tribute to Martyn Hett one of the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing.
Cruz celebrates 25th Anniversary A night of Pop, Chart, Dance & Commercial House provided by some of the UKs Hottest DJs as we take you on a journey from 199
Come on Drag up for George Please drag up for George and make a real difference to someones life
June Queer Revue date The Haus Of Decay all set for next Queer Revue in June
Sale of 44 Canal St News here of the very latest property deal in the Gay Village
Liberty Festival An example of Manchesters creative activism will show solidarity with our American LGBT+ family
Bolton Pride 2017 Four days in late September are the dates for this years Bolton Pride
LGBT themes for Gtr Manchester Fringe 2017 Read about our initial selection of LGB themed performances for this years GM Fringe Festival in July
Welcome The Vegan Queens The Vegan Queens are a new and local drag duo. Read more about them here