Review: French Without Tears University Drama Studio

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Terrence Rattigan’s play takes place pre-war in a 1930s French language school. Alan Irvine does well as teacher Monsieur Maingot, having 90 percent of his dialogue in French.

Laughs come since Nathan Brown’s Alan is the only learner who speaks any French while the rest are hopeless. This is really only a subplot however.

The principal story is one of love and seduction with flirtatious Diana, played by Heather Knowles, as the protagonist.

Predatory Diana strings David Byrne’s Kit along before upgrading to John Baron’s senior officer, Bill. This puts a spanner in the works for Maingot’s daughter, Jacqueline, Rebecca Barnes, who has a crush on Kit.

The drama picks up the pace in the second half as the men see through Diana’s scheme. She was foolish enough to use the same chat up line with them both, claiming to be so good natured she gets upset if she steps on a snail. Although Diana gets confronted, suddenly Alan has legs of jelly as he is the new object of her affection.

The acting is good throughout. Heather Knowles is well cast as Siren Diana, breaking men’s hearts at 20 paces.

Nathan Brown is excellent as sarcastic Alan with good support from John Baron and David Byrne, completing the complex love square!