“An Italian Straw Hat”

A stylish French farce by Eugene Labiche

Dramatis Personae

Cast 8 male, 7 female and wedding guests (doubling is possible)

FADINARD: A businessman
NONANCOURT: A nursery gardener.
BEAUPERTHUIS: A man of wealth and substance.
TARDIVEAU: An accountant.
BOBIN: Nephew of Nonancourt.
EMILE TAVERNIER: A lieutenant.
HELENE: Daughter of Nonancourt.
ANAIS: Wife of Beauperthuis.
VEZINET: Helene's aunt - hard of hearing.
CLARA: A milliner.
VIRGINIA: Maidservant to Beauperthuis.

This translation into English and treatment by Maria Plumb and Rod Thompson © 2007

With additional songs and lyrics by Anne Mondour © 2007

This adaptation, is now available for presentation by other theatre groups at very reasonable rates.

Playing time approximately 2hr 10min including 20min interval (Act 1 - 1hr, Act 2 - 50min)

Fadinade is to marry the beautiful Helene today, and has returned to Paris to prepare for the great occasion. On the journey he pauses briefly, and his horse has a quiet snack on a very attractive Italian Straw Hat, which was hanging on a tree branch.
Unfortunately for him, the hat belongs to Anias, who is having an “assignation” with Emile - a dashing, and easily offended hussar.
There is nothing for it but for Fardinade to find another exactly matching Italian Straw Hat, and immediately!
So he sets off with his entire wedding party following on, including his father-in-law to be, his bride her cousin, aunt, etc. in eight hackney carriages.
Fardinade Nonancourt
Luke Monsour as Fardinade, Rod Thompson as Nonancourt (with Myrtle).

Each place he visits gets him into more trouble, and introduces more eccentric characters, including an ex-girlfriend he has not treated well, a countess whose musical soire he gate-crashes (with his wedding party), a rather whimsical viscount who fancies himself a poet, and ultimately the husband of Anias.
O Sole Mio
David Jones singing O Sole Mio

This adaptation is available by negotiation to other groups
Please e-mail for more information.

The Directors / Adaptors

Maria Plumb has directed many plays at VP over the years, including “Arms and The Man” by George Bernard Shaw, and “Travelling North” by David Williamson. She has been a reader and script advisor for Playlab Inc. She has also appeared on-stage as Eliza in “Pygmalion”, Annie Sullivan in “The Miracle Worker”, and more recently, she played the pivotal role of Margaret in David Williamson’s incisive play “Money and Friends”.

Rod Thompson directed “The Harp In The South” by Ruth Park and Leslie Rees, “Dancing at Lughnasa” by Brian Friel, and “Two Weeks With the Queen” by Mary Morris and Morris Gleitzman. He also appeared in “Arms and The Man” and “Money and Friends”. Rod was music co-ordinator and strolling concertina busker for Errol O’Neill’s play about the 1912 Brisbane tramway worker’s strike “Faces in the Street”