Share |

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels - King's Theatre, Glasgow

Published by: Sean Stirling on 24th Jun 2015 | View all blogs by Sean Stirling

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Give them what they want…

That is the title of the opening number of this musical adaptation of the 1988 movie that starred Michael Caine and Steve Martin as a pair of con men on the French Riviera.  Well if what you want is a great evening’s entertainment then the cast of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels will most certainly give you that.

Set in the fictional seaside village of Beumont-sur-Mer, Lawrence Jameson (played in the movie by Michael Caine) exudes charm and sophistication.  With the help of local detective, Andre Thibault, Lawrence tricks wealthy women into handing over their money and jewelry to him, while also stealing their hearts in the process.  All is going well until the arrival of brash swindler Freddy Benson.  Freddy is in awe of Lawrence ‘s wealth and is eager to learn from this master con man so that he too can have “Great Big Stuff.”

Following Freddy’s training Lawrence decides that there is not enough room in Beumont-sur-Mer for two con-men and so a bet is made that whoever can charm $50,000 dollars out of new arrival Christine Colgate will be allowed to stay while the loser will have to leave.  Freddy stoops to great lengths to win Miss Colgate’s attention and money but is thwarted at every turn by Lawrence.

This adaptation features a very witty book by Jeffrey Lane that remains mostly faithful to the original screenplay but with the addition of a new sub-plot where sidekick Andre makes a play for Muriel Eubanks, one of the wealthy women previously duped by Lawrence.

Music and lyrics are by Tony Yazbek, who also provided the score for the musicalized version of The Full Monty.    The main theme of the show echoes the Henry Mancini scores of the Pink Panther movies.  Lawrence’s musical motifs are suitably Cole Porter-esque while Freddy gets down right funky.

The production is directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, who is well known on Broadway and in the West End for his work on hit shows such as Legally Blonde, Kinky Boots and Hairspray.  The man’s love and respect for musical theatre is apparent in everything he does and he makes this production a sheer delight to watch.  He even goes so far as to break down the fourth wall in some clever places.

Leading this production and following in the footsteps of Michael Caine and Steve Martin are West End stalwart Michael Praed as Lawrence and former pop star Noel Sullivan as Freddy.  Praed plays Lawrence as the perfect English gentleman worthy of 007 while Sullivan is a lovable rogue.  They are supported by Mark Benton (Andre) and Geraldine Fitzgerald (Muriel) who make a lovely comic pairing reminiscent of Maurice Chevalier and Hermione Gingold in Gigi.  Coming in between the boys is Carley Stenson as Christine Colgate who plays the role with a charm and zest.  A terrific ensemble bring energy and flare to each well executed production number.

 A simple but beautiful set designed by Peter McKintosh and lit well by Howard Harrison allowed the audience to be transported to the French Riviera.

 This musical comedy is simply the sizzling must see of the summer.  I was lucky to see the original West End run at the Savoy Theatre last year and am so happy to report that this touring version has retained all of the original prestige that will delight audiences up and down the UK.  


Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Tue 23 June– Sat 4 July

Mon – Sat eves 7.30pm

Wed & Sat mats 2.30pm

Box Office 0844 871 7648 (bkg fee) (bkg fee)




1 Comment

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 3 years ago
    Thanks, Sean. Great review. A sizzling must see? Maybe I can catch it in Edinburgh!
Please login or sign up to post on this network.
Click here to sign up now.