One Man Two Guvnors

31/01/2013

Dom Henry went to see One Man Two Guvnors at Nottingham's Theatre Royal


Rufus Hound as Francis Henshall in One Man Two Guvnors - production photo

Italian dramatist Carlo Goldoni penned his comedy The Servant of Two Masters way back in in 1746.  More than 200 years later Richard Bean has used it for the basis of the best farce I’ve seen in years - One Man, Two Govnors. A bedwettingly funny reminder of just how bloody good a dose of slapstick and lovingly silly classic British comedy can be.

Now, you may have got wind of James Cordon winning international acclaim for his role in this show as red faced and bumbling lackey Francis Henshall, but the cast touring with this National Theatre production, featuring standup comedian Rufus Hound as the check suited scamp, have kept up the pace and are absolutely spot on.

Lovingly set in a colourful ‘post spiv’ postcard Brighton in the early 60s we are immediately tempted with fond memories of Carry On films and St Trinians as we are introduced to the larger than life characters in their period suits and hairdos.

Failed skiffle player Francis is a food loving fella whose wily plan to cash in on the opportunity two serve masters, one upper class twit and one cockney villain (back from the dead in drag – it’s complicated), spirals into side splitting farce in a whirl of superbly timed slapstick, sharp gags and quick witted improv. Ricocheting from minding one demanding guvnor to the other as he desparately trys to keep them apart, only to discover there is far more to the two than meets the eye.

Seasoned standup Rufus brings a mercilessly witty edge to unfolding onstage situations and hapless front row audience members. In one moment his hungry character is pleading for a bite to eat in the story only to be offered a sandwich from an audience wag, the next 5 minutes of humus filled put downs and off script improv is just the sort of thing which makes this show so good.

The physical comedy reaches a climax with a genius performance from unsteady Octagenarian waiter Alfie played by Peter Caulfield, who lurches from one increasingly un-PC accident to another, as we watch open mouthed in mirth filled disbelief as they crank up his pacemaker to new heights.

The whole cast were on great form, with well polished performaces from the likes of Edward Bennett as manicly posh Stanley, guvnor number two, ditsy daughter Pauline played by Kellie Shirley, or Leon Williams as her pretentious wanna-be-actor suitor. They were all superb. The icing on the cake? An excellent period skiffle band to provide the score and interval entertainment. The TR lineup for 2013 is going to have a tough one besting this.

One Man Two Guvnors plays at Nottingham's Theatre Royal until Saturday 2nd February 2013.

Share this article



Ads by Google


Comments


comments powered by Disqus

Share Tools

Go to comments Read comments and make your own

LeftLion Magazine

Read our entire archive online

LeftLion Magazine
more info

Most read this monthalt

  • LeftLion Magazine #66
    With Cantaloupe, Tom Hackett, Record Store Day, Kitty Cafe, Industry Week, Eve Makis, The Old General Mayo and more
  • Cat Café
    There's pussy (cats) galore in the newest joint in town. Opinions are divided about the place, so we had a natter with the owner
  • Candoco Dance Company: The Show Must Go On
    We had a natter with performer, Alan Binns, about his experience with Candoco Dance Company
  • Exclusive: National Videogame Arcade
    First photos from Nottingham's new centre of videogame excellence with live action Micro Machines, a Minecraft room and a load of bananas
  • Bye Bye, Shaun Derry
    Lasting 503 days at Meadow Lane, surely qualifies a Notts County management team for some kind of commemorative teapot?
  • Live: Scorzayzee
    "It’s hard not to love a rapper spitting through a 3ft long foam microphone, or wedging Partridge references into a set"
  • A Canadian at London 2012
    "I want to lose myself in the joyous atmosphere of the world’s middle class getting together to cheer on its fastest and best at throwing heavy objects"
  • Murdered By My Boyfriend
    This new, one-off BBC Three drama is based on the true story of a Nottingham girl who suffered at the hands of domestic abuse
  • Left Panther: April
    "The lack of an enforcer could have affected Nottingham's confidence to play – some of the smaller players seemed to be tentative on the ice"
  • Music Reviews: April 2015
    With Juga-Naut, Antronhy, Babe Punch, Bowman Hull & The Instant Band, Duke01, Hot Box, Josh Kemp, Mixed Reactions, UJahm

LeftLion on Facebook

 

Event Listings alt

There aren't any tickets available for sale. view all events

Related video alt

Ads by Google