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Stephanie Cole plays Mrs Malaprop, who wholeheartedly deposes the romance.
Then when a voice boomed out into the crowd that the star of the show, acclaimed actress Stephanie Cole, was "otherwise indisposed" and would not be performing her role as Mrs Malaprop tonight, the spluttering audience let out a resounding boo of disapproval - the sort usually reserved for pantomime baddies.
It puts him opposite that doyenne of the British stage, Stephanie Cole, who plays the hilariously tongue-twisted Mrs Malaprop.
Mrs Malaprop has to be one of the most famous female characters ever written for the stage.
FOR many years I've known a real-life Mrs Malaprop.
She's certainly not one to shirk a challenge, as witnessed by the fact that she takes on one of literature's most celebrated characters, Mrs Malaprop.
1998 Epsom: Appropriately, called Mrs Malaprop the winner, then called Batchworth Belle the winner.
Acquiring a roof over his head sees Chris first run into a splendid Irish Mrs Malaprop of a landlady, vigorous in her campaign to root out "immortality" and any hint of dubious behaviour on her premises.
Edward Hardwicke, another distinguished British actor, takes his place in the classic Restoration comedy, starring opposite Stephanie Cole, who plays the linguistically inventive Mrs Malaprop.
But in Mrs Malaprop, the pretentious aunt of over-romantic heroine Lydia Languish, Sheridan created one of the great comic characters, here wonderfully recreated by Stephanie Cole as a kind of powdered cream puff busily mangling the language with her fluent linguistic approximations.
And no wonder, for judge Jane Stickels had had no hesitation in calling Mrs Malaprop the winner as the two fillies flashed past the post together.
Gabrielle Drake is the inimitable Mrs Malaprop, contorting, confusing and torturing her syntax, none of which was lost on a highly appreciative, much amused audience.