Screen to stage adaptations aren’t normally my thing. Nine times out of ten they just don’t seem to hit the right spot. The story weakens, musical numbers can feel forced and key moments can become lost. Yes they can just about keep our attention but it’s not normally for the right reasons.
However, Jerry Mitchell’s all new musical production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels doesn’t comply with the above remarks, not only has it had a flawless transition to the stage, it’s also pretty darn perfect.
Based on the 1980s classic movie of the same name, the story is set in the fictional French resort of Beaumont-sur-Mer and follows two con men, Lawrence Jameson (Robert Lindsay) a seasoned courteous womaniser and Freddy Benson (Rufus Hound) a scruffy newcomer, as they make a wager to pull a con on the wide-eyed and beautiful Christine Colgate (Katherine Kingsley).
Broadway director, choreographer and producer Jerry Mitchell, of Legally Blonde and Kinky Boots fame, has created quite possibly a perfect musical production which is definitely giving London a UK taste for Broadway standards. This is a company and production who have had the time to work out the kinks with an out of town try out and it really does show. The book by Jeffrey Lane, and music and lyrics by David Yezbek carry the audience through a fun and witty production allowing for great characterisation from Lindsay and Hound.
With a marvellous set design and beautifully crafted costumes by Peter McKintosh we are flawlessly transported to lavish hotel rooms, a wonderful art deco mansion and even a first class train carriage. Peter really has taken the surroundings of the Savoy Theatre on board, as at times the line between theatre and stage are almost seamless. All of this is beautiful supported by the stunning lighting of designer Howard Harrison. It’s also worth noting the wonderful orchestrations which were crisp and a joy to listen to, due to the perfect sound design from Paul Groothuis.
Right from the start, Robert Lindsay is clearly enjoying and savouring every moment, he brings a charm to the stage which is almost a throwback to the golden age of musicals. Rufus Hound nearly stole the show and possibly created some of the finest comedy moments. There’s a standout performance from Katherine Kingsley with flawless vocals and a wonderful sense of comic timing. Samantha Bond takes on the role of Muriel Eubanks with an air of glamour and timeless beauty. A special mention to John Marquez’s take on the chief of police Andre Thibault, never has a side plot stood so strong. In short, book now and enjoy this truly wonderful production. I simply cannot fault Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, it’s everything you could want in a night out. Trust me, you won’t regret it!
Review by John-Webb Carter
DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS
CAST: Robert Lindsay (Lawrence Jameson), Rufus Hound (Freddy Benson), Katherine Kingsley (Christine Colgate), Samantha Bond (Muriel Eubanks), John Marquez (Andre Thibault), Lizzy Connolly, Gavin Alex, Darren Bennett, Niamh Bracken, Lisa Bridge, Darren Carnall, Andy Conaghan, Phoebe Coupe, Claire Doyle, Alice Fearn, Selina Hamilton, Ian Knauer, Lisa Mathieson, Zak Nemorin, Genevieve Nicole, Javier Santos, Todd Talbot, Dominic Tribuzio, Jon Tsouras and Zara Warren.
CREATIVES: Jerry Mitchell – Director, Peter McKintosh – Set and Costume Designer, David Yazbek – Music and Lyrics, Jeffrey Lane – Writer, Sound Design – Paul Groothuis.
Previews from 10th March – Opening Night 1st April 2014
Evenings: Monday to Saturday 7.30pm
Matinees: Thursday and Saturday 3.00pm
Tuesday 1st April 2014