The Queen's Cafe Company Fringe Club, June 18 The Queen's Cafe Company finished with a drawn score after a game of two halves with their interpretation of a comedy-drama double by Noel Coward: The Red Peppers and We Were Dancing. A strong showing in the latter saved the day after a limp opener. We Were Dancing, set in a 1930s colonial club in Hong Kong, was graced by fine performances from Martyn Minns, Jeremy Le Sueur, Clare Bethel and Chris Nichols (who must have shadowed the Duke of Edinburgh while preparing for this role) as bluff Brits with upper lips so stiff they must have been starched. But stealing the show, a commentary on colonial attitudes as much as on infidelity and etiquette, was Sally Dellow, outstanding as the object of conflicting desires. Balancing the effete, the foppish and the chivalrous, We Were Dancing had the slicker lines of the two performances and made their mismatch glaring. The Red Peppers, sketching personal and artistic tensions in a mid-30s provincial British comedy act struggling in the face of Hollywood's growing popularity, failed. In its own time it might have been a success: here one wondered what the point of it was, apart from indulgence on the part of director and cast. Too many fluffed lines reinforced the church-hall feeling. Worse was the trap fallen into at rehearsal stage: playing two talent-strapped characters badly, instead of making their limitations part of an inspired performance. We Were Dancing also suffered from a lost opportunity - to make the script topical, perhaps with the odd handover reference. The cast did wave the Empire goodbye with a long-winded rendition of Mad Dogs and Englishmen, but more (and better sung) Coward songs and dropping the first play would have improved the formula. One unfortunate, unforeseeable incident crystallised the feeling of amateur board-treading, when a singer's chiffon scarf caught on a potted cactus during one screeched number. Somehow, that sort of thing just doesn't happen on the big stage.