A Gown for His Mistress

by Georges Feydeau

2nd – 4th November 1989

After a futile attempt to spend the night with his mistress, Dr Moulineaux pretends to his wife that he was with a friend near to death… however the web he spins soon starts to unravel…

Gown Prog

The Cast

Etienne: Ian Hickling
Yvonne: Marianne Smith
Moulineaux: Eric Saxton
Bassinet: Paul Shave
Mme Aigreville: Elizabeth Saxton
Suzanne: Caroline Cook
Aubin: Peter Monger
Mlle Pompinette: Helen Saxton
Mme Herbert: Brenda Prior
Rosa: Mary Warrington
Fifi: Kippy

Produced by Eric Saxton and Marjorie Treacher

Newbury Weekly News review

Pure fabrication

Compton Players’ spirited production of A Gown for his Mistress by Georges Feydeau was received enthusiastically by the audience at Coronation hall, Compton last week. Farce is a challenge even for experienced actors and the Compton Players are to be congratulated on their pace and timing.

Eric Saxton, who co-produced this piece with Marjorie Treacher, played the role of Dr Moulineaux with a light and sure touch as he fabricated more and more fantasies in this convoluted plot. Marianne Smith, as his wife, Yvonne, after a rather hesitant start, became suitably petulant. Paul Shave was successful in his interpretation of the role of Bassinet, a bumbling and boring friend. Elizabeth Saxton as Moulineaux’s mother-in-law gave an aptly sharp and well-measured performance. There was a particularly sparkling exchange between her and Moulineaux in the first act. A fittingly coy interpretation was given by Caroline Cook as Suzanne Aubin with whom Moulineaux was conducting a promising flirtation; a flirtation hampered by her husband’s insistence in accompanying her everywhere.

Her husband was played by Peter Monger. Mary Warrington was convincing in the role of Rosa, a former love of Moulineaux, who is finally revealed as Bassinet’s wife in this matrimonial cocktail.

Ian Hickling was the suave, all-knowing, Etienne, the butler, Helen Saxton as Mlle Pominette and Brenda Prior as Madame Herbert appeared briefly when Moulineaux took on the alias of Monsieur Blob, a dressmaker. In the confusion over his two professions he claimed to be prescribing an Homeopathic gown.

Kippy as Fifi, added to the general hilarity when he barked exactly on cue and dramatically amplified the confusion at the end of Act II.

The play called for a complete change of sets between each act and the back-stage crew members are to be commended for the speed and seeming ease of these changes. The women’s costumes were brilliant in the true sense of the word and all costumes were exactly right for the period and style of the piece.

RH

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