An Award Winning Comedy
This winner of the Olivier Award for New Comedy in 2014 sees Bertie Wooster struggling with how to explain a particularly frightful weekend at Totleigh Towers, involving an eighteenth century cow creamer, saucy romantic shenanigans, and much heroic derring do! A play is the answer and soon the stage is peopled with a dozen gloriously eccentric characters such as Gussie Fink Nottle, the fierce Aunt Dahlia, Stiffy Bing, and the beautiful Madeline Bassett, all gallantly played by just Wooster, Aunt Dahlia’s butler Seppings and Jeeves himself, who against all odds, endeavours to bring order to the escalating chaos.
Expect an outrageously inventive evening of fast paced comedy, dramatic car chases, heinous heists, swooning lovelies, and the odd, very odd, newt impersonation.
*** Review by Rick Bowen for Stagestruck ***
HAND on heart I have to say these chalk and cheese comedy creations passed me by when Fry and Laurie played them on TV. I got the joke of course. Jeeves, the buttoned up, deadpan butler forever cleaning up his master’s mess, a social superior with very little between his ears. Barry Purves’ energetic production barely draws breath and is beautifully and brilliantly played against the backdrop of one of his trademark, ingenious sets.
Jamie Sloan delivers a performance of real star quality as the deliciously dim toff Bertie Wooster, ably supported by Andrew Higson and Graham Simmonds. Higson is perfect as Jeeves, the sensible and dependable butler but, along with comedy natural Simmonds, plays a plethora of other roles of both sexes and without a single costume change. But it was Sloan’s comic timing that really caught my eye in a frantic, madcap piece that places huge demands on a very hard working, three strong cast. Verbally and visually, Sloan was simply born to be funny.
Why have I not mentioned the plot? Simply because it’s largely irrelevant. Although there is a frequent mention of something called a cow creamer. Answers on a postcard, please. An onstage band provides the ideal musical backing for an evening of theatre that does exactly what it says on the tin. This really is perfect nonsense. But a much needed antidote to a world that’s far too serious at times. Spiffing good fun.
Star rating – 3/5
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