Shrewsbury School

‘Dormez, je le veux!’ - French play review by Helen Brown

Monday 8 February 2016

Feydeau’s farces are masterpieces of slapstick comedy, and they are incredibly difficult to pull off. Add in the challenge of performing in French, and most directors would be put off. Oh, and you’ve only got a month to rehearse. Sounds like a job for Mr Sheppe...

'Dormez, je le veux!' tells the story of a lazy servant, Justin, who has mastered the art of hypnotism in order to control his master. Justin’s plan comes under threat when he learns that his master intends to get married to the daughter of a doctor, who is himself an expert in the occult. Hilarity ensues, culminating in a hypno-ninja-battle between Justin and the doctor.

The cast, led by Julian Chesshire as Justin, threw themselves into the performance with gusto. Despite the challenges of performing in French, they held their audience spellbound for a breakneck 45 minutes.

We all saw a new side to Charles Wade, who captured the physical comedy of the piece perfectly, capering round the set as a monkey and cleaning the floor as though powered by Duracell.

Emma Harris embraced the (utterly uncharacteristic) role of a frumpy spinster, whilst Ursule Taujainskaite, performing in her (third? fourth? fifth?) language, was charming as the bride-to-be.

Congratulations to all involved.

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