WE’ll Always Have Paris by Jill Hyem. The Mill at Sonning to 11 March 2023. 4****. William Russell

Director Sally Hughes knows her audience and this latest production at this splendid dinner theatre – matinees you get lunch – is an undemanding tale of ladies in Paris, a soufle, a trifle of piece with lots of ooh la la as well. The cast of five know what they are doing and do it very well indeed, there is a nice set and no spoilers as to the plot. The ladies are in Paris. Nancy (Elizabeth Elin) has two schoolfriends to visit – Anna (Natalie Ogle, a slightly mousie widow needing to be encouraged to live, and Raquell (Debbie Arnold) just back from enjoying Turkish delights. Her landlady, Madame Bouissiron (Basienka Blake) is tricky and the handyman Charlot (Richard Keep) is flirtatious. So what should they do – should Nancy stay or go back home to Hazelhurst and should Anna break free and both of them opt for Paris. There really is no contest but it doesn’t matter. The cast play it to the hilt well aware that the material, which slight – – basically it is a series of tiny scenes of the kind you might get in an end of the last century sitcom rather than a well constructed play – will work well. It is a case of Vive la France. You will leave feeling good – and you get a two course lunch before hand.

Raquel: Debbie Arnold.

Madame Bouissiron: Basienka Blake.

Nancy: Elizabeth Elvin.

Anna: Natalie Ogle.

Charlot: Richard Keep.

Director: Sally Hughes.

Set Designer: Michael Holt.

Costume Designer: Natalie Titchener.

Lighting Designer: Graham Weymouth.

Song: Peter Aldridge – who taught Richard Keep.

Production Photograph: Andrea Lambis.

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