Lingua Franca

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M3 F4. A classroom. Mid 1950s. Based around a leading character in Peter Nichols' acclaimed work, Privates on Parade , and inspired by his own experiences, Lingua Franca is a fast-paced, sexually-charged story that plays with notions of xenophobia and cultural stereotypes to comic effect. It's the mid-1950s and 'innocent abroad' Steven Flowers has travelled to Florence to teach English in a chaotic language school, Lingua Franca. He is soon adopted by fellow Brit, Peggy, but is more interested in Heidi, a newcomer from Munich. Heidi's deep-seated prejudice against the Jews causes tension with the anti-fascist Italian manager, Gennaro, and Russian Jew Irena. Atheist and pacifist Jestin worships only the art that surrounds him, while Australian Madge struggles when her students start to speak better French than she does. As Steven tries to make sense of his own life and a Europe at peace after so many years of war, Peggy's unrequited obsession leads to highly dramatic consequences. ...richly enjoyable new play ...Nichols is back on top form with a play that offers a Florentine room with multiple points of view. (Michael Billington, Guardian ).