Nothing Toulouse Chapter Five: Catch Me If You Can

by Jim Fishwick on 31 July, 2019 in blog, Shows

We start with a “Santé!” as Mme de Beaujolais (Jenny Lovell), Ambroise Guillaime (Lliam Amor), Frankston Pierre (John Voce), and Gustave Eiffel (Rik Brown) share glasses champagne, celebrating simply being French. Eiffel has been working on a new design for his tower. Mme de Beaujolais idly hopes that it turns out better than Eiffel’s previous project, the Panama Canal, an interjection that makes Eiffel sour – he becoming very defensive indeed.

Clair De Lune, fresh from her Texan sojourn, recounts the five ways to kill man she learned from the Boothill Gang: a rock, a shiv, stabbing, poison, and twisting his head clean off. Which method will she use to make Eiffel glower? 

Patisserie owner Madame Pamplemouse (Katherine Weaver) and Magnus Damgaard (Mike Bryant) indulge in some pastries, which quickly turns into a pie fight, which quickly turns into a giggly game of hide and seek. Well that just takes the cake.

Lovers Eloise Andolini (Brenna Dixon) and Gustave Eiffel are about to meet in the town square, and we hear their inner thoughts in song. They are both deeply in love, they’ve never felt this way before, but just as we’re about to see Eiffel shower Eloise with affection, we find a dark secret: Eiffel is still married!

Meanwhile, Bellafonte Andolini’s (Tim Redmond) ex-wife Raven is out of town, and he is enjoying his newfound freedom. He’s quite the catch, and we see him playing flirty and raunchy chess with members of the dance ensemble. But before the pawn action can truly get underway, there’s a knock at the door. Bellafonte opens it to find his old circus Ringmaster, Signor Autrellini (Chris Gregory)! Autrellini has come to see Bellafonte’s new life in the big city.

Across town, Clair De Lune is watching Eloise and Gustave laugh and play hopscotch. Their joy infuriates her, and she plans her murder. She’ll kill him with a rock, yes, that’ll make Eiffel cower, and then Eloise will finally fall in love with her! 

Valentin the Boneless (Adam Hembree), recently evicted from the Chat Rouge dance ensemble, is begging on the street. His rival, Monsieur Yoplait (Jaime Cerda) happens upon him, and they square off. Valentin has lost everything; dance was his whole life. Yoplait threatens to break every bone in his body, as Valentin has taken everything from him too. Seizing his revenge, Yoplait clubs Valentin unconscious with his cane.

Clair catches Eloise alone, asks after her wellbeing, and tries to convince her that despite Eloise’s recent family drama she can rebuild herself, and that she and Clair are stronger together. Eloise doesn’t take well to someone else trying to tell her what to do.

Bellafonte takes Autrellini to meet his friends at the Chat Rouge. Autrellini can see why, with a thriving artistic scene like this, Bellafonte is here, despite the sawdust in his blood. He convinces Bellafonte to demonstrate his old flying trapeze routine. There happens to be a high trapeze rigged up, and Bellafonte climbs into place, ready to catch Callie (Madison Carter), one of the dancers. At the last second though, she slips from his grasp, and plummets to the floor below!

Across town, Clair visits Mme Pamplemouse and Magnus. There is an awkward romance in the air, and a certain aroma of… is that the smell of boinking? Mme Pamplemouse stridently denies anything of the sort, before shamefully admitting it’s true. She demands that Magnus marry her. He turns her down a number of times, before reluctantly agreeing.

Gustave has been reflecting on how fleeting life is, a comment that Eloise says sounds like a proposal. But his wife is very ill in Switzerland, and about to pass away in her sleep. Is this a nefarious move on his part, or is this Eiffel’s hour of honour? Eiffel proposes to Eloise, on the condition that they only get married after his wife’s funeral. How romantic.

Ambroise and Frankston come across Yoplait in the street, covered in blood. He feigns that he was painting with peacock blood. They are about to call him on his lie, when he produces a peacock feather, which had conveniently fallen from Clair De Lune’s hat.

In the nearby Hôpital, Callie and Valentin the (now very) Boneless are recovering from their injuries, when Mme de Beaujolais and Eloise pay them a visit. Mme de Beaujolais also pays them some hush money, to keep quiet about the injuries quite literally befalling her staff. She says Yoplait will pay for what he has done.

Yoplait has gone into hiding. But not very well, as Gustave spots him. He remarks that Yoplait has changed, that he is walking a dark path. He knows that it was Yoplait who attacked Valentin. Like Yoplait, Gustave has lost a lot, but resisted the urge to lash out. A man with nothing to lose is dangerous, a weapon. Gustave wants to hire Yoplait to murder those who have crossed him, namely the Beaujolaises. Yoplait agrees, submitting to Eiffel’s power, but takes a detour to the hospital first for some unfinished business.

Bellafonte is distraught after his accident. Autrellini visits him to comfort him. “We walk the wire. We live in the spotlight. The price we pay is the risk.” Autrellini wants him to rejoin the circus, to come with them to America. But Bellafonte quits circus for good. These are a janitor’s hands now.

Eloise confronts Mme de Beaujolais over her bribery. It’s not right to buy people. Le Chat Rouge is a community, it’s the passion, it’s the people. But Mme Beaujolais insists she must – her husband Georges knows about her affair, and will use any financial excuse to leave her. Eloise knows that Gustave has money, and suggests he could help out. Mme Beaujolais informs Eloise of the bankruptcy after the Panama incident, so where is Eiffel’s money coming from?

On her way home, Eloise sees her lover, Eiffel, standing on one side of the town square, and her father, Bellafonte, sitting in the gutter on the other. She chooses her father. She embraces him, comforts him, but over her shoulder, sees Gustave Eiffel shaking hands with none other than Monsieur Yoplait.

How will Elosie respond to Eiffel’s friendship with a murderer? Will Valentin and Callie recover? Will money troubles or Yoplait get to Mme Beaujolais first? Which of Clair’s five methods will succeed in killing Eiffel? Will Magnus follow through with his marital promise to Pamplemouse? And will Bellafonte ever swing again? Find out in next week's exciting episode!