Home > Theatre > April in Paris


Comedy by John Godber.

Ambassadors Theatre London
Opened 1 February 1994
Closed 22 May 1994

Maria left the cast two weeks prior to the production closing (see Notes below).

A hilarious depiction of the English abroad! Bet and Al are ordinary Yorkshire folk who live a quiet life, until Bet wins a 'Romantic Breaks' competition in a magazine. The prize, a trip to Paris, is their first experience of life abroad and their troubles with French cuisine, the phrasebook and the Metro are amusingly charming whilst also illuminating the profound effect that their travels have on the way they relate to their life once they have returned home.


Production Team
DirectorJohn Godber
DesignsRobert Jones
LightingJohn Merrylees
Andrew Leigh


Maria staged the first series of her By Special Arrangement concerts at the Donmar Warehouse (Feb/March 1994) while still appearing in April in Paris. She subsequently left April in Paris two weeks early to prepare for the second series of her By Special Arrangement concerts at the Donmar Warehouse (May/June 1994).

Quotes From The Press

"...This is a perceptive and witty study of an ordinary young couple. Gary Olsen and Maria Friedman depict a marriage on the brink of disintegration but show that things can change - there is hope as the dullness lifts..." Kenneth Baker, The Sunday Express (6 February 1994)

"...The script verges on patronising but is saved by moments of poignancy between the couple, touching performances from Gary Olsen and Maria Friedman..." Louise Doughty, The Mail on Sunday (6 February 1994)

"...Maria Friedman as Bet radiates both an unfulfilled appetite for life and a simmering resentmant at her husband's neglect suggest that Hull hath no fury like a woman scorned..." Michael Billington, The Guardian 3 February 1994

"...The couple are brought to the most spikily taciturn life by Maria Friedman and Gary Olsen, she vibrant with unspecified anger, he lumberingly defensive of his inability to please... It is in every way a quality production, a small but genuinely shining gem." Jack Tinker The Daily Mail 2 February 1994

"...Maria Friedman and Gary Olsen turn in impeccable performances..." John Peter, The Sunday Times, 6 February 1994

"...Maria Friedman and Gary Olsen also give them sensitivity and respect." Irving Wardle The Independent on Sunday 6 February 1994

"...At least Maria Friedman, dressed in blazing red, gives Beth a dynamism and wistful romantic ardour which the role hardly deserves..." Nicholas de Jongh The London Evening Standard 2 February 1994

"...Godber himself directs, with a deft touch; shambling Gary Olsen and trim Maria Friedman give thoroughly credible and creditable performances." John Gross The Sunday Telegraph 6 February 1994


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