Written by Richard Bean and directed by Nick Hytner, ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’ made its London West End debut in 2011 to rave reviews. In its third year, the National Theatre production is now embarking on a tour of the UK and Ireland.
Based on Carlo Goldoni’s ‘Servant of Two Masters’, ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’ is set in 1963 and tells the story of Francis Henshall (played by Gavin Spokes). Short of money, Francis begins working as the minder for Roscoe Crabbe. The problem is, Roscoe has been murdered and his twin sister Rachel (Alicia Davis) has adopted his identity. Still incredibly hungry, Francis soon takes up a second job working for Stanley Stubbers (Patrick Warner). As he struggles to balance two full time jobs while keeping his two bosses apart, the fun begins…
Channelling the slapstick mayhem of Fawlty Towers, the physicality of Bottom and wheeler-dealer antics of Only Fools and Horses, ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’ is a celebration of British comedy at its best. The laughs come loud and often as Francis catastrophically attempts to deliver letters from the post office, prepare a dinner and keep his demanding guvnors happy. There is also some fantastic audience participation and improvisation that had everyone in hysterics.
Eastenders fans will be pleased to learn that Shaun Williamson (formally Barry Evans) and Emma Barton (Honey Mitchell) star in supporting roles as Charlie ‘The Duck’ Clench and the promiscuous Dolly respectively. Jasmine Banks and Edward Hancock play two lovebirds kept apart by the circumstances. Special mention also goes to Michael Dylan as the long-suffering, pacemaker-uelled waiter Alfie.
Between scenes, the audience are treated to a talented four-piece Skiffle band called The Craze. Cast members also join in with some of the songs to showcase their unique musical talents.
While the first act packs in more laughs than the second, the show is full of great one-liners, memorable characters and a truly brilliant performance from Gavin Spokes. ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’ is a highly recommended comedic treat!
Review by: Sarah O'Connell
Review Date: 4th June 2014
One Man, Two Guvnors Review
Rating out of 5:
The Mayflower, Southampton