Review of One Man, Two Guvnors Theatre Royal Haymarket
In 1746 an Italian playwright Carlo Goldoni wrote a comedy called ‘The Servant of Two Masters‘. Little did he know at the time that 267 years later an adaption of the comical farce would have audiences in London’s West End wiping tears of laughter from their eyes.
Adapted by Richard Bean, One Man and Two Guvnors is set in Brighton 1963. We open up at a gathering to celebrate the engagment of young Pauline Clench and Master Crabbe, but unfortunately Pauline’s betrothed is murdered but the engagement must go ahead as her father Charlie ‘The Duck’ Clench has already paid for the sausage rolls, so Pauline is now in love with actor Alan Dangle.
Enter the murdered man’s minder Francis Henshall to declare he is not dead but very much alive, enter Rachel Crabbe disguised as her dead twin brother. Little does she know that the love of her life Stanley Stubbers also employs Henshaw.
Mayhem follows as the plot takes us on a joyous merry-go-round. This is farce at its finest, with one scene in particular in which Henshall is serving dinner to his two guvnors at the same time in different rooms, ably assisted by none other than Alfie an 87 year old waiter on his first day at work. Resulting in the funniest piece of slapstick comedy I have ever had the pleasure the see. The entire cast played their part superbly. Angela Griffin was sheer joy as Dolly with the large bust and the flirtatious manner giving us that saucy postcard humour and the energy and quick wit of Owain Arthur kept the show rolling at a hilarious and unstoppable pace. But the show was stolen by the incredible skills of Peter Caulfield who could fall down a flight of stairs and bounce back up like a rubber ball.
I would definitely recommend this show to anyone, if you’re looking for a good night out, you need look no further.
Review by Johnny Tait
Friday 11th October 2013