Human Ümami

As an actress, it was one of my greatest pleasures to be selected to play one of the most colourful (yes, that’s the Olde English spelling) literary characters on the stage in my early career. The playwright? Peter Schaffer. The play? Lettice and Lovage. The character? Lettice Duffet (pronounced doo-FAY). Lettice Duffet, is in effect, the very definition of human umami. She is a most brilliant, enlightened spark of pixie-ness; quite possibly my favorite character to ever have been penned on paper. Many thanks to my director of that show Mr. J.J. Brennan. The man has taste (what can I say?). As Lettice says, “Enlarge! Enliven! Enlighten!” – now that’s Udo Umami at its core! Here’s a past showing of Lettice and Lovage with the Hamburg Players:

The Hamburg Players present Lettice and Lovage by Peter Shaffer

Arts & Culture
Press release from: Hamburg Players e.V.

(openPR) – Eccentric Lettice Duffet (Amy Lee) simply cannot settle for the ordinary. Even working as a tour guide at Fustian House, one of Britain’s more boring stately homes, cannot stop her creativity. Her experiences as the daughter of an actress who toured France with an all-girl troupe performing Shakespeare’s history plays, along with her enthusiasm for Elizabethan food and mediaeval weaponry, help her to inventively inform her tourists and liven up the house’s dull history.

In her passion for the past, though, she begins to stray from fact and increasingly makes her tours more theatrical, much to the horror of dry and dour Lotte Schoen (Jocasta Godlieb), a representative of the Preservation Trust. She walks in at the height of Lettice’s extravagances, and Lettice suddenly finds herself without ajob. But, bit by bit, the purist Lotte finds herself drawn into Lettice’s world of historical romance. The two discover they have more in common than meets the eye, and an unusual friendship grows. This is soon challenged, however, when during their re-enactment of Charles I’s execution a nasty little accident happens…

This witty and passionate comedy by the author of Equus and Amadeus won the Evening Standard’s Best Comedy Award in 1988 and was nominated for the Tony Award in 1990.


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