Monday, June 17

Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense

- October 24, 2013

If, like me, you are a fan of the books, then most renderings of the great Plum (PG Woodhouse) fail to satisfy. Well intentioned as so many have been they simply cannot recreate the joy of his perfect prose. Happily the producers of this latest confection have realised that, by employing the clever conceit of Bertie actually telling his story to the audience, and indeed by acting it out with the aid of Jeeves and Seppings the spirit of Woodhouse is maintained – quite brilliantly! Mark Hadfield plays the majority of the incidental characters with great comic skill whilst at the same time playing them as a valet with no acting skill. In fact this theatrical double bluff is the key to the success of the evening.

Stephen Mangan plays Bertie with a childlike innocence that is totally winning, a remarkably funny performance as he comically struggles with the logistics of the drama and the set whilst still relating to the audience. Matthew Mcfadyen’s Jeeves is superb, still and quiet, he weaves his way through the plot, but at the same time he plays a host of other characters that require a speed and agility that few could manage. To describe his performance as brilliant hardly covers the performance that he achieves. All this takes place on a set that is the pure essence of theatrical design, relying on traditional stage craft rather then modern technology, and all the better, and funnier, for that. An evening of comic mastery that is not to be missed.

Theatre Royal Brighton, 23 October 2013
Rating: ★★★★★
Andrew Kay

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