14-24 May 2014
Reviewed by Becky Linsell
The National Theatres award winning comedy One Man, Two Guvnors has just started its biggest tour so far of the UK and Ireland. I saw the show at the Sheffield Lyceum on its second night in the city.
The play is an English adaption by Richard Bean of Servant of Two Masters, a comedy originally written by the Venetian playwright Carlo Goldoni. The songs for the show were written by Grant Olding.
This play for me is the epitome of a great British comedy. During which, I laughed so much that I cried and my sides hurt! It is a good old fashioned farce, with songs, clever one-liners and slap-stick comedy.
The Craze skiffle band start the show and are on stage as you take your seats, taking you back to the 1960’s. The story is set in Brighton in 1963, after losing his job in a skiffle band the main character Francis Henshall becomes a minder for the gang-land criminal Roscoe Crabbe. However Roscoe has actually been murdered and is really his twin sister Rachel, in disguise. Roscoe has been murdered by Rachel’s posh boyfriend Stanley Stubbers.
Although he is already employed by Rachel, spotting an opportunity, Francis takes another job with Stanley Stubbers. It is quite simple, Francis has to keep his two Guvnors apart; neither must discover that he is working for them both.
The cast’s performances are just perfect, the script of the play is full of great jokes, both verbal and visual, which the actors exploit to their full potential. There are some beautiful costumes and the slick scenery changes are made part of the show with appearances from The Craze band, along with cast members.
The cast include the well known faces of Shaun Williamson and Jasmyn Banks (who have both had roles in Eastenders) who I was looking forward to see. However Gavin Spokes who played Francis stole the show for me. His immaculate comic timing, expressions and his improvisation were outstanding. The scene in which Francis has to serve both of his Guvnors their dinner simultaneously, is genius.
This show is an absolute must see and a thoroughly enjoyable evening’s entertainment. I would even go and see it again!
Tickets cost from £18 to £32 (plus £1/£1.50 traction fee for online and telephone bookings).
One Man, Two Guvnors is showing at the Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield until 24 May. For more information or to book tickets click here or call the box office on 0114 249 6000.
Sheffield Theatres, 55 Norfolk Street, Sheffield, S1 1DA | Box Office 0114 249 6000