2-7 June 2014
Reviewed by Lorraine Knight
I was looking forward to seeing One Man Two Guvnors’ at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton after reading how funny it is and the amount of awards it has won namely 2011 Evening Standard Award for Best Play, 2011 Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play and 2012 Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers’ Choice Award for Best New Comedy.
I went with my friend who had just had surgery on her knee and the staff at the Mayflower couldn’t have been more helpful especially the Usher Mike who showed us to our seats and helped my friend.
The play started with a 4-piece Skiffle Band who throughout the play sang parts of the story while set and costume changes took place. Joining the band sometimes were members of the cast adding their own personal touch i.e. playing the glockenspiel, very impressively I might add. Their comic timing throughout the play was exceptional and had the audience in fits of laughter.
The storyline is about a man called Francis Henshall (played by Gavin Spokes) who is down on his luck and looking desperately for a job in Brighton. To his surprise he manages to gain 2 jobs (hence the title!). He tries unsuccessfully to keep both Guvnors’ happy and throughout the play runs from one to the other causing mayhem and lots of laughter. At one point he was heckled and I’m still not sure if it was a plant or a true member of the public but Francis was in hysterics along with the audience. Gavin is a very talented actor and he worked tirelessly. My favourite of the night was the character Alfie played by Michael Dylan – I remembered him from Big Brother. He played a grey-haired very old looking waiter not dissimilar to Manuel in Faulty Towers. He was brilliant at making it look real when the door, cricket bat and such like hitting him.
At the end all is revealed and they took many a bow amid cheers and clapping from the audience.
The 2½ hrs flew by with a 20 minute interval. I didn’t laugh as much as I expected but I did find lots of the play very funny and laughed out loud. This was opening night at the Mayflower and lots of seats were empty in the dress circle so I think if we had been downstairs where it was full there would have been more atmosphere. I also prefer the seats downstairs because there is more legroom. The play runs until Saturday 7th June.
The Mayflower Theatre in Southampton is easily reached from the M27 from 2 directions and local multi-storey parking is available at night for a maximum charge of £3.
Tickets cost from £18 to £32 (a booking fee may apply).
One Man, Two Guvnors’ is at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton until Saturday 7 June 2014. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 02380 711811.
Mayflower Theatre, Commercial Road, Southampton, SO15 1GE | 02380 711811