You only have to step into the Abbey Theatre this week to get a ‘scents’ of the current production.

For, compliments of Lush, the Company of Ten has gone all out for authenticity with its production of Parfumerie, a Hungarian play originally which has inspired several films including You’ve Got Mail.

The smell of scent greets the audience as they enter the world of a highbrow parfumerie with staff busy selling and stocking shelves.

And from then on you find yourself immersed in the lives and loves of the shop staff and the sometimes irascible owner in a play which is frothy, somewhat predictable but nevertheless a delightful romantic comedy.

With Christmas on the horizon, there are plenty of references to the festive period but the story really focuses on life and love.

It is directed by Beccy Baird who makes a special point of mentioning the Company of Ten’s props team in the programme.

Their attention to detail in furnishing the set deserves the praise it receives.

Beccy herself with John McClenahan designed the spectacular and clever set which really makes you believe you are in a parfumerie in Hungary in the 1930s.

Making a welcome return to the Abbey Theatre stage is Guy Conroy-Smith whose performance as Bertie Wooster in Perfect Nonsense was one of the highlights of the last Company of Ten season.

He is just as impressive as Mr George Horvath, a long-time worker at the parfumerie. Guy’s talent is such that he can say just as much, if not more, with his facial expressions than the lines themselves.

Russell Vincent is as impressive as ever as shop owner Mr Hammerschmidt and both his real-life sons, Christopher and Alexander, have parts in the production.


While Alexander’s role is small, he still does it justice and Christopher as Arpad Novack, at first put-upon and then lording it over his brother as Fritz, is a revelation. Clearly talent runs in the family.

Tanisha Gearing as Miss Amalia Balash plays her as something of a wimp while Iain Pritchard as Mr Sipos, the elderly shopworker who fears for his future, is spot on.

Parfumerie is an easy watch but a very entertaining one and it was good to see the Abbey Theatre so full on the opening night.

It runs until Saturday (18) and tickets can be obtained from the box office on 01727 857861or go to