Terence Rattigan’s romantic comedy, French Without Tears is set in 1930’s France, where a group of young English men attempt to prepare for their Diplomacy exam. Their attentions, however are soon drawn towards Diana Lake, an extremely charming lady, who yearns to be able to win them over with her seductive prowess.
Her smooth tactics and style keep the men of the house in conflict throughout, and she revels in the happiness of knowing that. As the play progresses, the rest of the characters reveal increasing disregard towards her actions until finally they realize that she was playing them all along, and upon this realization, form a bond amongst themselves.
Whether it is the props, the music or the lighting, the costumes, the set or conversations that the characters are having, they represent and recreate beautifully the era they are meant to depict, and at the same time manage to keep the play rather fresh.
The performances are spectacular and each part is played flawlessly by the cast. Their chemistry on stage is what really makes the play come to life and endears the cast to the audience. It is the perfection in each artist’s timing that keeps the the humor going right till the end!
There are times when the play seems slightly superficial, but that’s where the writer makes us understand the psychology of each person with their nuanced personalities and the misgivings they constantly hide and try to shy away from, but gently reveal through the play. More than anything else, one relates to it because it is just so human!
French Without Tears is a wonderful play, suited for a nice, light hearted evening and sure to leave one happy, satisfied and at the same time craving for more!
The show continues its run at Warwick Arts Centre until Sat 5 Nov. Further details can be found here.