Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh
August, 1994

It begins as a standard two-handed comedy play, making up in energy and invention what it lacks in polish. Dowdy Barbara enlists in an oral French evening-class and conceives a passion both for the language and for her teacher. Scenes of awkward courtship are interspersed with mimed pastiches of French films, and an amusing if undistinguished show is in prospect. However, the tone darkens with shocking rapidity during the couple's climactic dinner-date, as unpleasant drunken truths are revealed in a manner quite at odds with the earlier humour. The downbeat ending leaves the audience battered after their initial comic seduction. A welcome theatrical Trojan horse.

Written for The Independent.

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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