21st Jan, 2019

Norbury's latest production 'Ab Fab with Francophiles' provides plenty of laughs

Tristan Harris 10th May, 2018 Updated: 10th May, 2018

A TALENTED cast transported the Norbury Theatre crowd across the channel for its latest production ‘We’ll Always Have Paris’ by Jill Hyem.

It centres around three former female school friends ‘of a certain age’ who are looking for love and are being romanced by France’s beautiful capital.

The plot itself is gentle but that does not detract from the humour in this laugh-along feelgood piece which is like Absolutely Fabulous with Francophiles.

There is a cast of just five and the actors get to play a cracking collection of characters.

Among them is promiscuous Racquel, played beautifully by Jane Huxley and stuck-up landlady Madame Boussiron (Melanie Brown).

Lovable odd-job man Charlot won a place in the audience’s hearts, such was the perfect portrayal by James Cowlishaw, complete with impressive French accent and the crowd also warmed to Anna. You could feel the empathy flowing after Angela Salmon’s amiable performance in that role of the ‘newcomer’ to the flat.

But the performance of the night went to Lesley La-Croix as eccentric and over-the-top Nancy. She was like a ball of energy in the first half, which exhausted you just watching her, and in the second she showed her sentimental side.

Among the highlights were the friction-filled game of Monopoly which ends in tears, the song Les Dames Anglais and the Anglo-French mud-slinging scene.

It would be interesting to see what the French Tourist Board made of this production. In the first half, when everything is rosy in the garden, you could be forgiven for booking your next cross-Channel ferry or Eurostar ticket, or at least reaching for the cheese and wine.

And with Brexit never far from the headlines and Eurovision on Saturday, there could not be a better time to stage this show.

The remaining performances take place at 7.30pm tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday.

Visit norburytheatre.co.uk or call 01905 770154 to book tickets.

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