The Waltz of the Toreadors
Catherine Russell, as the attractive Mlle Ghislaine, is everything his bedridden wife, played by Maggie Steed, is not. Heard as a wining voice from behind a bedroom door for the first half of the play, in Act 2 she holds forth from her double bed centre stage, pretending to be near death's door. Convinced she is dying, the General is overcome with remorse, how could he leave her now? His remorse turns to fury as his wife, making a miraculous recovery leaps up on the bed and admits to her own string of lovers over the years, including an affair with his own Doctor. Meanwhile Ghislaine has fallen for the General's secretary, a well conceived portrayal by Al Weaver as a young wimp. Apart from Bowles, there is another outstanding performance from Nicholas Woodeson as the Doctor who makes a marvellous contrast to the General, not only in height but the way he underplays the part making it totally convincing. In a tiny role as the maid, Joanna Brookes is a sheer delight.