Slapstick comedy One Man Two Guvnors shines at Theatre Royal
One Man Two Guvnors
March 10 2017
Reviewed by Janet Whittington
Best play I've been to this century.
I was surprised at how genuinely and consistently funny it is. If your life is taking you a bit too seriously lately, this is your antidote. The play is typical of the 1960s, light popular style rather than deeply enlightening and consequently a joy to experience.
The director, Hugh Neill cherry-picked the plays throughout the world. Lucky us. Neill also chose a great local cast. The standout performance from the lead character by David Van Der Velden was a real coup. He is world class and his cynical asides had us eating out of his hand.
The play is parts of many genres such as musicals and slapstick. However the delivery and direction, along with the updated jibes about women, pacemakers, cell-phones and politics raise it above the cliched. It's never cheesy. It is intelligent enough to have the "it" factor. The play is evenly paced with lots of audience interaction. (Be warned).
The evening romped along, helped by The Craze, a four piece band, who played us in and out of the theatre and when the stage hands were racing through scene changes without a curtain to hide them. (Great sets guys). I can't guarantee the sound of breaking glass during one change will be in every night's performance.
The evening was peppered with fresh ideas. Actor Martin White also excelled in playing xylophone with another during one scene change. Martin, Collins and McKenzie did a 60s harmony that rivalled the Supremes. Pip Collins shone as the only balanced adult in the play. My favourite was the Faulty Towers waiter equivalent by Frog Twissell.
The nearly full house of a wide cross section of Nelson loved it. This play has broad appeal. Well done.