Of the plot, suffice it to say that there is an abandoned wife (Amy Humphreys) who wants her faithless husband back, a Portuguese ‘temptress’ (Maya Sondhi) who has tricked the said faithless husband into signing over his estate, a father (Christopher Robert) desperate to marry off a termagant of a daughter (Ursula Early), a maid with a mind of her own (Karen Elliot) and two unsuitable suitors. One cannot pretend that this spirited performance does justice to the original – caricature is a mere sword-length away – but there is no doubt that it injects zest and vigour into a City lunch hour. Typical of the style is the running gag whereby each character spits in disgust each time the word ‘Portuguese’ is mentioned (the play is set in Madrid).
Things come to a comic crescendo when Dan Smith plays the two suitors simultaneously, arguing with himself, and finally wrestling himself to the floor, while the third character in the scene, Don Julio (Tom Radford) looks on bemused and ignored.
The production is given a splash of Spanish flavour by director Pip Minnithorpe and is a perfect accompaniment to a leisurely lunchtime baguette.
- Giles Cole