THEY seek him here, they seek him there, those Frenchies seek him in Basingstoke.

The mysterious English gentleman known as the Scarlet Pimpernel, who has been saving French aristocrats from the guillotine, has found his latest hiding place in the Haymarket Theatre.

Presented by Tabs Productions, right from the opening of the show this adaptation from Louise Page uses the whole theatre, with members of the cast appearing in the audience for the opening lines of dialogue.

The show opens with French actress Margueritte St Juste, played by Cornne Begluk, giving her own performance as the Pimpernel, only to be interrupted by Citizen Chauvelin (Mark Huckett) who is one of the French Revolution’s leading henchmen.

Chauvelin is determined to be the man to capture the Pimpernel and looks to use his position of power to blackmail Margueritte into helping him.

The story moves between France and England, where Margueritte has moved to be with her foppish, dim-witted lord of a husband, Sir Percy Blakeney (Andrew Ryan.)

Ryan really embodies the role of Sir Percy, flouncing around the stage in his silks waving around a handkerchief, and he provides many of the punchlines dotted throughout the play.

What Ryan does even better is be a master of disguise, doubling up as our swashbuckling hero.

In what is a relatively small cast, Ryan is the jewel in the crown and every time he steps on the stage, the focus is drawn to him and he commands the audience’s attention.

If Ryan is the jewel, Begluk is the anchor. It is her role as Margueritte which helps move the narrative along and like Ryan, she is a key focus point. One scene in a French bar when Begluk is hiding behind a screen, you are constantly wondering when she will appear or if she will be found.

Despite its minimal stage set and cast size, as a spectator you truly are transported into this world of The Scarlet Pimpernel.

The Scarlet Pimpernel will be running at the Haymarket until September 29, for more information and tickets visit