French Without Tears
French Without Tears is a comic play written by a 25-year-old Terence Rattigan in 1936. It takes place in a cram school for adults needing to acquire French for business reasons. The play was a success on its London debut, establishing Rattigan as a dramatist. Critics thought it 'gay, witty, thoroughly contemporary ... with a touch of lovable truth behind all its satire'. It ran for over 1,000 performances in London, and over 100 in New York. It also established Rex Harrison as a major star. Scattered throughout are Franglais phrases and schoolboy misunderstandings of the French language.
The play was inspired by a 1933 visit to a village called Marxzell in the Black Forest, where young English gentlemen went to cram German.
- Alan Howard - Rex Harrison
- Brian Curtis - Guy Middleton
- Commander Bill Rogers - Roland Culver
- Diana Lake - Kay Hammond
- Jacqueline Maingot - Jessica Tandy
- Kenneth Lake - Trevor Howard
- Kit Neilan - Robert Flemyng
- Lord Heybrook - William Dear
- Marianne/t/o Jacqueline Maingot - Yvonne Andre
- Monsieur Maingot - Percy Walsh
A television production was featured in the Saturday Playhouse TV series on 7 June 1958, with Denholm Elliott, Elvi Hale, Colin Broadley and Nicholas Parsons, and another in the BBC's Play of the Month series on 16 May 1976, starring Nigel Havers, Anthony Andrews, and David Robb.
- "French Without Tears by Terence Rattigan, Kay Hammond & Roland Culver". vam.ac.uk.
- "Terence Rattigan". terencerattigan.co.uk.
- "Production of French Without Tears - Theatricalia". theatricalia.com.
- "French without Tears". BFI.
- Wright, Adrian (2012). West End Broadway : the Golden Age of American musical in London. Woodbridge, England: Boydell & Brewer. p. 163. ISBN 9781843837916.
- Saturday Playhouse; Episode 12: French Without Tears (7 June 1958), IMDb.com. Retrieved 10 March 2017.
- Play of the Month; French Without Tears (16 May 1976), bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
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