Don't Dress for Dinner

Don't Dress for Dinner is a two-act play by French playwright Marc Camoletti. It's a sequel to Camoletti's other play Boeing Boeing. The play ran in Paris for a little more than two years under the name Pyjamas Pour Six, and also ran in London starring Simon Cadell and Su Pollard.


Bernard (Jacqueline's husband)
Jacqueline (Bernard's wife and Robert's lover)
Robert (Bernard's friend and Jacqueline's lover)
Suzette (the cook)
Suzanne (Bernard's mistress)
George (Suzette's husband)


In a renovated French farmhouse about a two-hour drive from Paris, Bernard is hoping to pack his wife, Jacqueline, away to her mother's for the weekend, in hopes he can romance his mistress, Suzanne, a Parisian model and actress. As an alibi, Bernard has hired a Cordon Bleu-level cook, Suzette, and invited his friend Robert to dinner.

While Bernard is upstairs, the telephone rings. Jacqueline answers; it's the Bon Appetit catering agency confirming Suzette is on her way. Then Robert calls and Jacqueline again answers. He tells Jacqueline he is spending the weekend, a fact unknown to her. As Robert and Jacqueline talk on the phone, it becomes obvious that they are having an affair.

caption=Jacqueline (Tina Segovia) splashes Bernard (Joe Kelly) with soda in the 2009 Potomac Theatre Company production of "Don't Dress For Dinner"

Jacqueline tells Bernard her mother has the flu and she has cancelled their visit. Bernard panics, and when Robert arrives, he tells his friend about his affair with Suzanne. Since she is arriving at any minute, Bernard convinces Robert to tell Jacqueline that "Suzy" is his girlfriend.

While Bernard and Jacqueline are out buying groceries, Suzy arrives -- it's the caterer, not the mistress. Robert doesn't realize it and introduces Suzette as his girlfriend when Bernard and Jacqueline return. Bernard is angry because of the mix-up, and Jacqueline feels betrayed because she thought she was Robert's only mistress.

Bernard and Robert secretly talk to Suzette, and for 400 francs she agrees to play Robert's mistress. When Suzanne arrives, alerted to the fact that she's now the cook. She's outraged but Suzanne agrees to play her part. When Jacqueline confronts Robert about Suzette, he tells Jacqueline that Suzette is his niece.

Act 2 begins with Robert and Suzette in the parlor talking and they depart. Jacqueline voices her frustration of Bernard's affair, which she found out about from a note signed 'Suzy' and a receipt for a Chanel coat in Bernard's jacket pocket. The coat was a gift for Bernard's mistress. Since the coat was made out to be Suzette's Jacqueline is sure Bernard's affair is with Suzette.

Suzanne thinks so as well; she and Jacqueline exact revenge on Robert and Suzette by pouring ice on them. Suzanne was satisfied but Jacqueline sprays Bernard with a soda siphon. More hijinks are brought out and confusion about Suzette being Robert's niece is brought to light.

Suzette tells Bernard and Robert that she has a husband, George, who will kill anyone she is seen even suggesting an affair. Jacqueline comes downstairs in a negligee and tells Bernard about her affair. Bernard is mad and threatens to kill the adulterer. Jacqueline discloses Robert's name and all is set for hell when George, Suzette's husband, walks in. George is told to believe Suzette is at another house and that Suzanne is his wife, until Suzette comes out to greet him. After questioning George is to believe the evening was a game called "Happy Families" and they depart.

After Bernard and Jacqueline go to bed. Suzanne visits Robert's bedroom, claims they should share it and that he deserves a reward for buying her a new Chanel coat {because Suzette took the old one}.

The play was famously featured as the basis for a hidden camera prank on Lionel Blair on the television series Noel's House Party.

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