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with Stephen Greif

Review by Flip April 2001

After joining the group of Horizon people who had come to see the play, it
turned out that I was one of the few who had not seen it before. This boded
well for it being an enjoyable experience, and it was.

The basis of the story was of two women, Julia (played by Felicity Kendall)
and Jane (played by Frances de la Tour), who had each had a passionate
affair with the same Frenchman, Maurice Duclos before they were married.
Both were now settled into comfortable, affectionate domesticity, and the
news that Maurice was coming to London sent the two of them into a spin, to
say the least. So when their husbands went off for the weekend to play
golf, they prepared for his imminent arrival.

Act 2 saw them at dinner, in full evening dress, getting more and more
worked up about the possibility of Maurice appearing at any moment. Every
time the phone or the doorbell rang, it caused chaos, and they both got
gradually more and more drunk and disorderly as the evening wore on. This
was an utterly hilarious scene, both of them becoming completely incapable
of performing the most routine of tasks, such as sitting down, talking or
walking. Their comic timing was impeccable and the interaction between the
two of them quite believable, as the accusations started to fly, and Jane
revealed at the end that Maurice had phoned her earlier, and she had known
his whereabouts all evening. She stormed off into the night, supposedly to
find him.

The next morning, Julia appeared, monstrously hung over. Jane's husband
Willy arrived, saying he had left the golf weekend early, and when he had
gone home, Jane was absent and he assumed she was with Julia. Julia broke
the news that Jane had gone off with Maurice and spilt the beans on the
whole affair. The two of them rushed out to find Jane; shortly afterwards,
the maid took a phone call from Maurice himself. Julia's husband Fred then
returned home to an empty house, followed by Jane, in dishevelled evening
dress. She had spent the night in a hotel, and hadn't known Maurice's
whereabouts after all. Finding the phone message from Maurice, she jumped
to the conclusion that Julia had gone off with him, and she too spilled the
beans to Fred.

Whereupon Julia and Willy returned, and there were many recriminations as
everything came into the open. And at last. Maurice himself, played by
Stephen Greif, showed up. He had taken the flat above Fred and Julia, and
asked the two women to go upstairs and 'help him choose curtains' or some
such. The play ended with the two husbands drinking Martinis and being
serenaded by the maid, who had made hilarious singing/piano playing/
soliloquising appearances throughout the play.

Stephen, although he had a small part, was excellent - the perfect suave,
smooth cliched French lover. We met him afterwards in a caf, and he was
just as charming and very friendly. The play's run has now come to an end,
but there is talk of reviving it in the summer - I would recommend it to
anyone who enjoys the theatre.

See Flip's Site - Three Good Reasons

 

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