Sunday, 25 March 2012

Play Time

Writing this here blog, I get invited to lots of things, most fabulous and others, not so much. I go to some, and turn down still more. But the occasional invite makes me do a little jig of joy, and this was such a one. Last week, I got to go and see the acclaimed West End Show One Man, Two Guvnors. This play has received rave reviews, from when it opened at the National Theatre with prime time comedian James Cordn as the eponymous Man Francis Henshall, to now in its latest incarnation at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. The lead role is now played by Corden's understudy, the very Welsh and very, very funny Owain Arthur; and he's so good, I can't even imagine James Corden playing it. I don't find the latter very funny at all, usually. So I was pleased even before I'd sat down!

What was even better, as we did sit down, a skiffle band was playing live on stage! Excellent.

The story goes, that Francis Henshall has been booted out of his own skiffle band, and starts a new career as a henchman to a dodgy gangster type named Roscoe Crabbe. Crabbe actually turns out to be his own sister, disguised as a her brother, who is trying to extort some money out of said brother's former fiancée's father... who has her own lover... who ends up hiring Henshall to be a minder for HIM... and it all gets hugely complicated, farcical and rip-roaringly funny.

The acting is impeccable, and the accents (both real and put on) are perfect. The characters are all wonderful in their own separate ways, from the major to the minor. Posh public schoolboy Stanley Stubbers was definitely my favourite after Francis himself - he had some great lines, too.

The scene with the doddery waiter as shown above is widely regarded to be the most hilarious in this brilliantly funny play... though between you and me, I thought the slapstick went on just a tiny bit too long. I was just as amused by the guffaws of laughter coming from the people around me, though!

The wonderfully upholstered Dolly is definitely the best of the two (technically three) female characters, with her amazing hair, feisty ways, and perfectly fitting Vivien of Holloway ensemble! Made me covet a new pencil skirt, I can tell you.

Hannah from S Club 7 is perfect as Pauline, the unbelievably simple (thick) former love interest of the dead gangster (confused, much!), and her boyfriend Alan Dangle is an over-the-top,  polo-necked and winkle-pickered wannabe thespian who had me laughing and cringing at the same time.

You all know, I hope, that on this blog, I only endorse things that I genuinely enjoy. And from beginning to end, One Man, Two Guvnors is an absolute triumph and I actually really, really want to go and see it again. Perhaps for my birthday! Do, please try to catch it if you can - there are some brilliant deals on seats for £25 according to the official website, but even if you can only stretch to a £15 seat all the way up in the gods, go, go GO AND SEE IT!

Fleur xx


  1. Precious photographies! I love your blog, your looks and your elegance. Kssss from Spain!

  2. My husband and I caught this back in November at the Adelphi Theatre on the Strand and absolutely loved it as well. Glad to see others as crazy about it as we were. A definite must see!

  3. I totally agree. It was *such* a hilarious show - I loved it! Will definitely be going back :-)

  4. I've just been to see this and absolutely loved it - very funny. I didn't realise it was Hannah from S-Club 7 tho!

  5. I agree with you on James Corden, I must admit he's put me off it a bit, despite all the rave reviews!

    If you love a good period farce you should go and see The 39 Steps, and if the Haymarket ever bring back their production of Brief Encounter you should definitely go, I reckon it would be right up your street!


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