Walking back to my rented flat after witnessing Caroline Horton’s one-woman tour de force, a funny thing happened – I started sobbing with what I can only describe as pure joy.
What begins as a frothy little snapshot of a kooky and myopic young Parisian woman, cutely mangling English idioms, grows into a powerful example of the indomitability of love, family and the human spirit. This is real living history, based on the true wartime experiences of Christiane, who, stuck in occupied France, is separated for years from her English fiancé Cyril.
The action unfolds at the Gare du Nord train station, where Chrissy waits for a ticket to England and her beloved, passing the time recounting events to date to the “waiting room” audience. As she does, the world of her story ingeniously emerges from a mountain of suitcases – a field of flowers, the BBC World Service, a pop-up skyline of the city.
These whimsical design touches chime perfectly with Horton’s irrepressibly exuberant and charming performance. Horton also wrote the piece, but I won’t reveal how she came to do so here, lest it diminish the sob-inducing impact for you. Do pay close attention to the multimedia epilogue and pick up the sheet explaining the show’s genesis afterwards.