The action takes place on the French Riviera during the 1920s, and is set in the
Villa Caprice, or Madame Dubonnet's School for Young Ladies. In this school, Polly, Maisie and the girls live with the maid, Hortense, and Mme.
The show opens with Hortense ordering a costume for "a Miss Polly Browne" and Maisie and the other girls
(Dulcie, Nancy and Fay) singing the sarcastic "Perfect Young Ladies" with Hortense. Polly arrives and tells everyone about her
made-up boy friend who is "motoring down from Paris" to meet her for the upcoming carnival ball, and starts the song about having
"The Boy Friend". Later, Bobby surprises Maisie and they dance to "Won't You Charleston With Me?".
Polly's widowed father, Percy, then arrives at the school to discover that the headmistress is an old flame of his.
They sing "Fancy Forgetting" to rekindle the spark.
The heroine, Polly Browne, though a millionaire's daughter, feels left out because she is the only one of her set
who does not have a boyfriend, and she needs a partner for the fancy dress ball. However, when the errand boy, Tony, arrives to deliver
her Pierrette costume, they are immediately attracted to one another, and sing "I Could Be Happy With You." Later, they meet at the beach
(after the chorus number "Sur Le Plage") and sing about "A Room in Bloomsbury". They decide to meet at the ball.
Meanwhile, the meetings between the comically flirtatious Lord Brockhurst and the rigidly mannered Percival Browne,
as well as Lord Brockhurst's pestilent wife Lady Brockhurst, bring some of the best humour to the show.
When Polly goes to meet her new boyfriend on the promenade, Tony is recognized by his parents - Lord and Lady Brockhurst -
who are passing; when he runs off, it is assumed that he is a thief. The act ends on a sad note.
At the ball, Bobby and the three boys propose to Maisie and the three girls, but the girls reply in unison that
"we'll let you know at midnight" and everyone dances to "The Riviera". And with a catchy tune, Lord Brockhurst sings "It's Never Too
Late To Fall In Love" with the flirty Dulcie, after which Lady Brockhurst catches him. Polly, still depressed, talks to Mme. Dubonnet,
and they sing "Poor Little Pierrette". Tony later arrives at the ball and takes Polly by surprise. He asks "May I have this dance, Pierrette?"
to which Polly replies, "I'm afraid I can't dance with a stranger." He then kisses her to remind her. Polly and Tony forgive each other
and find out that Percy and Mme. Dubonnet are getting married. The clock strikes midnight, and the girls unanimously say yes to the
boys' proposal! The last scene has everyone dancing as soon as Bobby, with the last spoken line in the play, asks "So how about that
Charleston?" The show ends with a reprise of "The Boy Friend" and "I Could Be Happy With You".