The big cover-up for play’s tattooed leading lady Heather

Nathan Brown, Heather Knowles and David Byrne in the SUDS production of French Without Tears, University Drama Studio
Nathan Brown, Heather Knowles and David Byrne in the SUDS production of French Without Tears, University Drama Studio
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French Without Tears, 
University Drama Studio

When director Charlotte Steels was casting for SUDS’ latest production, she presented costume designer Julia Morrison with something of a headache.

The play is set in 1931 and features a young woman whose sole purpose is to get men to fall in love with her.

She appears in a bathing suit for part of the action which is all quite straightforward except for the fact that the actress cast in the role, Heather Knowles, has a fantastic collection of tattoos which were almost unheard of for women then.

“It was a case of lots of floaty wraps and some excellent use of makeup!”said Julia. “There was no better person for the role and we relish a challenge . I think the audience will agree we’ve solved the problem pretty well.”

This wasn’t the only challenge facing the cast. The play is a comedy set in a language school in France where some of the young men are trying to gain a qualification to get into the Diplomatic Service and not only do many cast members have to speak a little French but one actor speaks entirely in French, much to the bewilderment of some of the characters. The director also insisted on posh Received Pronunciation accents rarely heard these days.

The play explores the relationships between the inhabitants of the house and is described as having “a touch of lovable truth behind all its satire.”

Don’t worry, you won’t need to know any French to enjoy this production. It’s more about poking fun at living in a place where you don’t speak the language.

The play runs from tonight to Saturday. Tickets: 07572 118499