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NYMPH ERRANT a play with music in two acts by Romney Brent adapted from the novel by James Laver. Lyrics and music by Cole Porter. Produced at the Opera House, Manchester 11 September, 1933 under the management of C. B. Cochran for three weeks. Opened at the Adelphi Theatre 6 October, 1933 for a run of 154 performances closing 17 February, 1934. Produced at the Equity Library Theatre, New York 11 March, 1982 for a season to 4 April,1982. Concert performance Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London - 21 May, 1989 THE STORY Act I Scene 1 is set in the present (1933) in the garden of Aunt Ermyntrude's house in north Oxford. At rise, Winnie the maid is arranging tea service on a little table, when Edith Sandford, dressed in a Girl Guide uniform, enters through the gate. A spinster of about forty, Miss Sandford is concerned that Aunt Ermyntrude is becoming quite forgetful. Winnie observes that she saw the old woman soaping herself in her bath while fully clothed. Plump Aunt Ermyntrude enters with a watering can and reveals that she has invited to tea the Reverend Malcolm Pither, who runs a questionable hostel for English chorus girls in Paris, and Edith's father, Dr. Sandford, a venerable Oxford don. At tea, Aunt Ermyntrude explains that her niece Evangeline Edwards is expected to return in one week from her Swiss school, the Pensionnat Bellevue, in Lausanne, of which Ermyntrude herself is an alumna. When Edith learns that Evangeline plans to return alone by train, she is shocked: "I don't approve of women travelling on the Continent. To me immorality begins on the dock at Calais.... I always say to my Girl Guides: 'Learn one language: English. And if you have the misfortune some day to have to travel on the Continent, keep on speaking English, only speak louder.' " Pither regards this as an expression of "abysmal ignorance," and Edith's own father agrees, much to her annoyance. Pither is determined to find a young, attractive woman who can travel unmolested by train on the Continent and will "bring her here and parade her under your very nose, that her virginal fragrance may dispel the musty, antiquated fumes of your mind." He storms out. Scene 2 is Evangeline's bedroom at school. We meet her chums: Bertha,a blonde German girl; Joyce Arbuthnot-Palmer, a hearty English girl, very country; Henrietta Bamberg, an American brunette with abroad mid-western accent; and Madeleine, a vivacious French beauty. Finally, we meet Evangeline, in her dressing gown and slippers. She is young, unwise in the ways of the world, and frantic to pack her bags for a train that leaves for Calais in a little more than an hour. The girls all speculate on what the future holds for them. A knock on the door heralds the entrance of their tall and prim English chemistry teacher, Miss Pratt, who promptly offers some scientific advice on life: "Experiment." Scene 3 is a railway carriage, into which Evangeline scrambles while Miss Pratt hands her some baggage from the platform and reminds her to experiment. The compartment is already occupied by André de Croissant, a handsome, middle-aged Frenchman. Evangeline quietly reads a book, until she realises that she cannot locate her train ticket. She frantically searches for it. The gallant Gallic graciously offers her an extra ticket, which he had purchased for a companion who missed the train. When she tells him that she is returning to Oxford to live with her aunt, André has a better idea. He explains that he owns the famous Folies de Paris and in one season can make her a cabaret star. She admits that she can sing and dance a little and, taking her cue from Miss Pratt, decides to experiment.