Nothing Toulouse Chapter One: Beachball Brains & Dancing Dreams

by Jim Fishwick on 9 July, 2019 in Shows
At the start of tonight’s escapade, Madame De Beaujolais (Jenny Lovell), manager of the nightclub Le Chat Rouge, is at a café with famous painter Henry La Trebuchet (Jason Geary) and genius choreographer Remy Le Beau (Adam McKenzie). Mme De Beaujolais commissions a painting for her club from Henry La Trebuchet, a park scene from the perspective of a local pigeon. Remy Le Beau asks him for advice in overcoming artistic frustration in his choreography. Henry instructs him to fire a quarter of his dancers immediately.
Musical ingenue Eloise Andolini (Brenna Dixon) has spent the Summer alone, following the death of her mother, and the absence of her father due to the demanding touring schedule of the circus. English writer Clair De Lune (Amy Moule), recently arrived, pays her a visit to learn about the raucous nightlife of Montmartre. It seems Mme De Lune has led something of a sheltered life until now, mais non? She would one day like to be in love, but remarks that one’s first love must always be oneself.
Workman Monsieur Yoplait (Jaime Cerda) and ‘Magician of Iron’ Gustave Eiffel (Rik Brown) happen upon each other at the local butchery, run by jacques-of-all-trades Fay De Complis (Chris Gregory). Initially suspicious of each other, M. Yoplait and M. Eiffel bond over their shared love of Fay De Complis’ delicious charcuterie.
Back at the café, pioneering psychologist Frankston Pierre (John Voce) arrives in time to analyse the meaning behind Henry La Trebuchet’s recent painting of a beachball, even though Henry perhaps doesn’t want him to. Monsieur Yoplait and Gustave Eiffel turn up at the very same café and immediately clash with Henry La Trebuchet and Remy La Beau, who mock the construction of Eiffel’s tower and insult Monsieur Yoplait’s dreams of wanting to be a dancer.
Eloise Andolini takes Clair De Lune to interview the well-connected Fay De Complis, and are surprised by the return of Eloise’s father Bellafonte Andolini (Tim Redmond). The Andolinis embrace.
At Le Chat Rouge, Remy Le Beau is rehearsing with his dancers, testing their skills, trying to find people to cull. Monsieur Yoplait bursts into the room, supported by Gustave Eiffel, and demands an audition. Remy insults him again, enraging M. Yoplait, who bursts into a stunning dance routine of pure emotion.
Next door, Clair De Lune peppers Mme De Beaujolais with questions, hoping to copy down the answers in her trusty notebook, but finds nothing except for De Beaujolais’ contempt towards the English. Undeterred, she goes to the bar to try and find some information from some of the gentlemen. They turn the tables on her, asking for a passage from her notebook. She sharply refuses, and threatens the assembled men, who are all taken aback. Everyone, that is, except Bellafonte Andolini, who seems intrigued.
Onstage, Eloise Andolini sings a fragile ballad of longing (“Stop It”). But who in the audience is she possibly singing it to?
Mme De Beaujolais books a session on Frankston Pierre’s couch. Declaring her heart to be black, he asks after the whereabouts of her husband George De Beaujolais, owner of Le Chat Rouge. She invents a clearly false story about his travel commitments, but on further pressing reveals she thinks he may be having an affair. But is this confession the truth, or more evasion?
Henry La Trebuchet presents Gustave Eiffel with a petition from the “writers, painters, sculptors, architects and passionate devotees of the hitherto untouched beauty of Paris” protesting the construction of “this useless and monstrous Eiffel Tower”. Outraged, Gustave demands to know if Henry is behind the petition. Henry evades the question, but asserts that he nonetheless agrees with every word.
Backstage at Le Chat Rouge, Monsieur Yoplait is preparing to dance the Can-Can, but is wracked by stage fright and can’t do it, despite Remy Le Beau’s encouragement.
Later that night, Eloise Andolini is waiting underneath a lamppost for her secret lover. Out of the shadows emerges the one and only… Gustave Eiffel. Unbeknownst to them both, they are being watched by Eloise’s father Bellafonte, who is furious.
But will Bellafonte separate the lovers? Will Monsieur Yoplait make it onstage? What is Clair De Lune hiding? Where is George De Beaujolais? Find out in next week's installment!
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