One Man Two Guvnors
Grand Theatre, Leeds
Until Saturday November 8
Box office 0844 848 2700
I’d been assured by numerous people who seen it already that the National Theatre’s production of One Man, Two Guvnors is so funny that I’d fall off my seat with laughter.
Granted it is funny, and I did laugh, quite a lot at times, but I wasn’t as tickled by the proceedings as my fellow theatre-goers who were wiping tears of mirth away the whole night long.
The standard of acting though is superb. Gavin Spokes as Francis Henshall is perfectly cast and keeps the audience engaged throughout – he had a wobble or two at times though when he got a touch of the giggles although this only made him even more endearing.
Written by Hull’s Richard Bean, It’s a silly story - albeit one which has its origins in 18th century Italy – and is typical of the slapstick humour of the Carry On films and Benny Hill sketches of the 70s and 80s.
Basically Henshall has to satisfy the demands of his two bosses without them being aware of each other’s existence. Throw in an arranged marriage, a murder, a set of twins, gangsters and some romantic entanglement and there’s plenty of scope for misunderstanding and misinterpretation.
It’s also very physical with lots of running around, falling over, exaggerated characterisation and the obligatory dropping of trousers but it is all good, clean fun and made for a great night’s entertainment.
The Craze, a four-piece skiffle band made up of talented young musicians who came on between scene changes was superb, while Alicia Davies who plays Rachel Crabbe as well as her twin brother, the gangster Roscoe, proves her versatility as she switches seamlessly from one character to the other.