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A Night in Provence review at Mill at Sonning Reading

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There is nothing quite like a frothy, amusing tale to send you out of the theatre feeling good and Robin Hawdon’s new comedy does just that.

Inspired maybe by the pros and cons of the European Union, he brings together an English couple of the ‘cor blimey’ variety, an Irish couple full of blarney and an aristocratic Frenchman and his elegant wife, the owners of the holiday villa in Provence, where through a booking agent’s error, they find themselves facing the prospect of two weeks sharing the glamorous location overlooking the sea.

The casting is nothing short of brilliant with Darren Machin almost too good to be true as Fred, whose wife Judy, another spot on performance from Lisa Hull, has been having it off with his best friend Shaun, played very convincingly by Toby Dale. Jemma Churchill as Moira his wife is soon eyeing the sexy Maurice whose French accent is irresistible.

The final member of this oddly assorted sextet is Mary Conlon as Yvette, the epitome of French elegance and savoir-faire, who surely cannot possibly be attracted to Fred? But sun, wine and skinny dipping under the moon has its effect, or does it? Could this be part of an ingenious plan by the owners to rid themselves of their unwanted guests?

Dinah England’s set is delightful and director Ian Masters makes excellent use of the Mill’s auditorium with the actors moving up the steps through the audience to the supposed swimming pool on the terrace.

Production Information

Mill at Sonning, Reading, October 24-November 24

Robin Hawdon
Ian Masters
Mill, Sonning
Darren Machin, Lisa Hull, Michael Fenner, Mary Conlon, Toby Dale, Jemma Churchill.
Running time
2hrs 5mins
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