WHAT’S in a poster? If you have seen the ones around York with the baby with the smudge of a Hitler moustache, then this is the show it’s promoting.

It started in France, translated to 30 countries so far, became a hit film, Le Prenom, and had an initial run in its British iteration at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

Now Jeremy Sams’s adroit adaptation of Matthieu Delaporte and Alexandre de la Patellier’s comedy is on a tour, with York being lucky enough to be one of the handful of theatres picked for the regional rounds.

Producer Adam Blanshay previously brought Birmingham Rep’s conversion of another French success, Alexis Michalik’s Edmond de Bergerac, to the Grand Opera House, when the title was met with such box-office enquiries as “Is it a stage version of the Bergerac TV series?”.

Good detective work would have sniffed out the fact it was the story of the writer who wrote Cyranoi de Bergerac, but as a generalisation, York audiences are a more than a tad reluctant to take a chance on an unfamiliar show, preferring musicals and endless tribute shows to Queen and Abba.

As it turned out, Edmond de Bergerac was a witty, moving, eloquent play, deserving of much bigger houses. Your reviewer is pleading with you not to miss out again on another gem that may be French in origin but has become wholly English in Sams’ hands. Think of an Alan Ayckbourn comedy, a domestic drama set around the dining table, if you need a reference point, or if you enjoyed Yasmina Reza’s Art, again a French piece, you will surely enjoy this latest import from across the English Channel.

Art retained its French setting, What’s In A Name? moves middle-class home to southern England, where language lecturer Peter (Bo Poraj) and Maths teacher Elizabeth (Laura Patch) are hosting a Moroccan buffet supper for Elizabeth’s brother, estate agent Vincent (Joe Thomas, from The Inbetweeners), and his pregnant wife Anna (Louise Marwood), who is running late, caught up in a business meeting with “the Koreans”.

Completing the party is Carl (Alex Gaumond), the BBC Symphony’s second trombone, arriving fresh from his latest concert, still in white tie and tails. On the wall is a family portrait of Peter and Elizabeth and their children Gooseberry and Apollinaire, yes, Gooseberry and Apollinaire, who are asleep upstairs.

The play opens with Thomas’s Vincent in narrator mode, introducing the others. He is opinionated, playful, witty, irritable, successful and in the mood for mischief, when it is his turn to enter, by now adding a coat to his sleek suit.

As the title indicates, a name will be the trigger point for what turns into a night of wonderfully funny, brutally honest, fractious comedy, full of ever more surprising revelations and home truths. The name is Adolf, or rather Adolphe, the name that Vincent says he and Anna have chosen for their imminent baby boy, inspired by Benjamin Constant’s 19th century novel of that title.

What follows, as they make their way through the Moroccan buffet, is a rising tide of fall-outs, delivered with comic timing yet suitably serious faces by Sams’ superb cast. Thomas is the consistent stand-out, but all have their moments, leading to bench-sitter Carl’s sudden lyrical declaration and Elizabeth’s spectacular fireworks, It would be wrong to give away any more of the plot; but let’s just say everyone needs something stronger than Moroccan mint tea by the end.

Charles Hutchinson

What’s In A Name?, Grand Opera House, York, until Saturday. Box office: 0844 871 3024 or at atgtickets.com/york