Tchin-Tchin, also known as Chin-Chin,[4] is a Paris- based romantic comedy written in 1959 by Francois Billetdoux (1927-1991). [5] It premiered at the Theatre de Poche in Montparnasse Paris on January 26, 1959, [6] directed by François Darbon, sets by Francine Gaillard-Risler.[7]

Written byFrancois Billetdoux[1]
Date premieredJanuary 26, 1959[2]
Place premieredTheatre de Poche in Montparnasse Paris[3]
Original languageFrench
SettingParis, 1950s.

The author himself played the role of Cesareo Grimaldi and Katharina Renn played Pamela Pusey-Picq. The playwright Sidney Michaels translated it into English and it opened in London's West End as Chin-Chin in 1960 starring Celia Johnson and Anthony Quayle in the leads. It opened on Broadway at the Plymouth Theatre, (later transferring to the Ethel Barrymore Theatre) on October 25, 1962 and closed on May 18, 1963 after 222 performances and 3 previews. Directed by Peter Glenville, the play starred Margaret Leighton and Anthony Quinn, and featured Charles Grodin. Arlene Francis and Jack Klugman took over the star roles for the last month of the run.

Tchin-Tchin received Tony Award nominations for Best Play, Best Actress in a Play (Leighton), Best Scenic Design, and Best Direction of a Play.

Time Magazine wrote: "Tchin-Tchin is magical. It is also fragile, but it is saved from wispiness by Leighton and Quinn. Excellence is an acting habit with Margaret Leighton, and her Pamela is expectably perfect. Anthony Quinn brings his subtlest gifts to Caesario, a character in whom anguish and sentiment sprout like city flowers between slabs of concrete." [8]

In 2013 Chin-Chin was revived with Felicity Kendal and Simon Callow starring. The first night was at the Theatre Royal Windsor, Berkshire on 16 October prior to a tour of the UK and possibly a West End run.


Pamela and Cesario's respective spouses are having an affair. When they discover this they meet. The initially priggish English lady is slowly seduced by the vibrant Italian. Unfortunately his joie-de-vivre is mainly due to alcohol and she too becomes dependent on it starting a decline and fall.


A Fine Romance (1991) with Julie Andrews and Marcello Mastroianni, directed by Gene Saks.[9]


  1. John Henry Ottemiller; Denise L. Montgomery (2011). Ottemiller's Index to Plays in Collections: An Author and Title Index to Plays Appearing in Collections Published Since 1900. Scarecrow Press. pp. 188–. ISBN 978-0-8108-7720-7.
  2. French News. Published and distributed by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. 1959. pp. 44–.
  3. Dominique Noguez (1998). Beauté des langues. Jean-Michel Place. ISBN 978-2-85893-399-0.
  4. Merriam-Webster, Inc; MERRIAM-WEBSTER STAFF; Encyclopaedia Britannica Publishers, Inc. Staff (1995). Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature. Merriam-Webster. pp. 139–. ISBN 978-0-87779-042-6.
  5. Colin Chambers (14 May 2006). The Continuum Companion to Twentieth Century Theatre. A&C Black. pp. 90–. ISBN 978-1-84714-612-0.
  6. Christine Nasso (14 January 1976). Contemporary Authors New Revision Series. Gale. ISBN 978-0-8103-0033-0.
  7. Jacques Guicharnaud; June Guicharnaud (1967). Modern French Theatre: From Giradoux to Genet. Yale University Press.
  8. Staff.Holy WaifsTime Magazine, November 2, 1962
  9. Macmillan Publishing; David Brownstone; Irene M. Franck (1 May 1993). People in the News 1993. Gale / Cengage Learning. ISBN 978-0-02-897072-1.

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