22-26 September 2015
Reviewed by Louise Platt
Last night I was transported to the French Riviera courtesy of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels The Musical at Milton Keynes Theatre. What a treat it was!
The show, which has enjoyed huge popularity in the London’s West End is on tour and is this week entertaining theatre-goers at Milton Keynes.
For those who are not familiar with the film (which includes me), the show tells the tale of debonair con artist Lawrence (played by Michael Praed) who spends his summers preying on rich and gullible women in an (usually very successful) attempt to get his hands on their wealth. He is very good at his game and has the Chief of Police (Gary Wilmot) under his thumb. All is going swimmingly until a rival trickster Freddy (played by Noel Sullivan) appears in Beaumont Sur Mer and suddenly he has competition.
Lawrence agrees to coach Freddy teaching him all his tricks of the trade but ever rivals, they place frequent bets and challenges against the other with the understanding that the loser has to leave town.
Freddy helps Lawrence out of a fix with a woman from Oklahoma who gets a little too serious for his liking and they then hatch a plan to hoodwink a lady who they believe to be a millionaire heiress (Carley Stenson) each taking on a fake persona to try to dupe her into giving one of them €50,000.
I won’t share any more of the plot than that but suffice to say it is very clever.
The show is highly entertaining and exceptionally well performed by the entire cast. The music is wonderful and the singing of a very high standard. I thought that the choreography in particular was really good – Gary Wilmot and Michael Praed were both very nimble on their feet and the ensemble are equally impressive.
There are plenty of ‘laugh out loud’ moments in this production – it is very witty at times with some adult content and lots of funny one-liners.
The stage management is very slick and scenes change effortlessly. I liked the way in which the conductor is involved first by shooting a rose up to the actors on stage and also by ‘providing’ the music for a romantic scene. There is also one point in the show when one of the ensemble appears in the audience as an ice cream seller which is a nice touch. The costumes and hair and makeup are also wonderful and really add to the glamour and razzmatazz of the show.
I came out at the end wanting to dance, which for me is the sign of a great evening’s entertainment!!
I wasn’t really sure what to expect being unfamiliar with the film but I am so glad I had the opportunity to see this production. It was highly entertaining and entirely glamorous. I loved it and would truly recommend.
I go to Milton Keynes theatre on a fairly regular basis both with What’s Good To Do and with my family and/or friends. It’s a fantastic venue – clean and modern with high quality bars and kiosks for pre show and interval refreshments. The theatre has a recently introduced a feature which is worth a mention – “ordertorium”. This is a service which allows you to order your drinks and snacks from your seat for delivery directly to you either before the show or at the interval. They also have an App for this which I’ve not tried out myself but it sounds like a clever idea! It is perfect for those who are less mobile and for anyone who dislikes a queue!!!
Tickets cost from £19.40 to £43.40 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is at Milton Keynes Theatre until 26 September 2015. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0844 8717652.
Milton Keynes Theatre, 500 Marlborough Gate, Milton Keynes, Bucks, MK9 3NZ