Published: Samuel French Ltd, London
Set in 1867 it is based on an episode in the life of Madame Sarah Rachel Leverson, a complete charlatan who boasted she could make any woman no matter how plain Beautiful For Ever. Having known poverty and outlived three husbands, Madame Rachel has found a lucrative occupation she has no intention of losing. Making use of knowledge gained from one husband, a chemist's assistant, she makes up worthless potions and elixirs, gives them romantic names, and battens on the desire of foolish, ignorant women to remain 'beautiful for ever', aided - with increasing concern- by her eldest daughter, Leonte. The silly, simpering Mrs Borrodaile seems a prize victim, and Madame uses all her cunning to defraud her, even to the creation of a supposed titled lover. She divests her of all she possesses and even causes her to be imprisoned for debt. But at last she over reaches herself: nemeses arrives from an unexpected source, and as the play ends the shadows of retribution fall across Madame Rachel's face.
First Produced: February 16th 1971 Theatre: Connaught Theatre, Worthing
Set: The back room of Madame Leverson's beauty shop at 47a New Bond Street.
Comments: Mary Plucker Sparrowtail (See Photo) Or Beautiful For Ever A song, written and composed by Arthur Lloyd, the music for which is available from Samuel French Ltd. I am called Widow Sparrowtail, Oft for the loss of my good looks I'd weep and wail; But thought it was of no avail, Till I perceived one day, To my utter astonishment, In the newspapers a flaring advertisement, Saying as how Madame Brachel she could prevent Beauty from going to decay. So Ladies I pray take example by me, Can I forget Madame Brachel, no never, Altho' she got from me A very large fee, In return I got beauty for ever.
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