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A play by Jacques Deval.
Adapted by Robert B Sherwood.
[Starring] Ann Todd and Peter Cushing
(Second performance: Thursday at 7.30 p.m.)
Her Imperial Highness the Grand Duchess Tatiana Petrovna and her husband, Prince Mikhail Alexandrovitch Ourartieff, living the hard life common among Russian exiles, are reduced to a little mild shoplifting in the Paris markets. The Prince has a fortune in the bank, but his promise to the late Tsar, for whom he holds it in trust, forbids him to spend it on the grocer's bills. Life, as he says, is very, very sad and very, very beautiful. When the Grand Duchess and when the Prince solemnly decide that, in their extremity, work is the only solution, life also becomes very, very amusing, and particularly so when the royal couple is played by the film star Ann Todd and Peter Cushing, a television star in his own right. As butler and parlour maid in the household of a French banker, these exalted servants have a remarkable impact on their unwitting employers and upon the two young members of the family. Many of their activities, like osculation and fencing for example, maybe outside the normal curriculum of domestic science, but they bring surprising quantities of sweetness and light into a conventional home. In the circumstances, nobody could be blamed for the results of the banker's momentous dinner party. Russians can be red or white, nice or nasty, but they are seldom predictable (Barney Keelan)