In fact for all the Margaret Dumont-ishness of her personality - and it filled the stage whenever she came on - Courtenay knew how to ring the changes on her persona through an unfailing comic instinct.
Her timing was impeccable, her discipline precise and her sense of occasion so exact and experienced that minor roles seemed to expand in her hands.
This time, with only the slightest gestures, she almost underplayed the withering Lady Hayling with her snobbery and disdain for her social inferiors.
In a career which spanned 65 years - she began aged seven in Greek tragedy - Margaret Courtenay was sometimes dismissed as predictably dominant or foreseeably comic in her strident and overbearing manner before which strong men quaked while other women sat mute.
Margaret Courtenay was the grande dame of British light comedy.
A formidable exponent of both classical and modern drama, opera and musical comedy, Courtenay had a voice which commanded every stage, a physical presence which demanded attention and a voice of all-embracing resonance.
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