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JEEVES & WOOSTER IN PERFECT NONSENSE - Theatre Royal Glasgow 24th-29th November 2014

Published by: Jon Cuthbertson on 26th Nov 2014 | View all blogs by Jon Cuthbertson

PERFECT NONSENSE - PERFECTLY ENJOYABLE

 

“Jeeves, this nonsense must cease.”

“Travel is highly educational, sir.”

“I can’t do with any more education. I was full-up years ago.”

“Very good, sir.”

 

Fresh from its successful and award-winning run in London’s West End, Jeeves And Wooster in Perfect Nonsense breezed smoothly into the Theatre Royal in Glasgow last night for the start of its week-long run,

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Starring Glasgow’s very own John Gordon Sinclair (Gregory’s Girl; World War Z) making his home-town stage debut as Jeeves and James Lance (I’m Alan Partridge; Black Mirror) as Bertie Wooster, the play won the 2013 Olivier Award for “Best New Comedy” and is based on P.G. Wodehouse’s book The Code Of The Woosters, first published in 1938.

 

Given that more than 75 years have passed since the story first appeared, you might be forgiven for expecting a slightly archaic and out-of-touch piece – but you couldn’t be more wrong!

 

As with the novel, the action is narrated by Bertie as he takes the audience through a twisted tale of misunderstandings, awkward confrontations, confessions of the heart and a silver cow-creamer. Although some minor cuts have been made to Wodehouse’s text to help smooth the transition from page to stage, the storyline and dialogue remain incredibly true to the original – guaranteeing laughs at both the farcical situations that Bertie find himself in and his clumsy attempts to extradite himself from them.

 

However, the element that really brings this show to life is the way that whole production is staged, not just in terms of set and production design, but also in terms of its ingenious approach to casting.

 

The performance opens with Bertie Wooster directly addressing the audience, setting up a “play within a play” theme as he, and his butler Jeeves, attempt to act-out a story for everyone’s enjoyment. They are joined by Bertie’s Aunt Dahlia’s butler, Seppings, played by Robert Goodale (Holby City; Doc Martin) and, between them, the two butlers take-on the parts of almost a dozen different characters during the course of the evening.

 

This leads to a hilarious moment where John Gordon Sinclair, as Jeeves, takes on the challenge of a conversation as two other characters at the same time – a brief two-minute scene which is both brilliantly conceived and wonderfully acted.

 

As well as character changes, all 3 cast members are forever moving pieces of set and props as the scenes transform from one to another – all the while, breaking the “fourth wall” by engaging the audience in what is happening.

 

Overall, the production really fizzes along with some of the character transformations taking place in seemingly impossible timescales. On this opening night in Glasgow, it was the turn of Joel Sams, as understudy, to play the role of Bertie Wooster and, despite not being a household name, he quickly drew the audience into his warm and welcoming style.

 

Comparisons with the television’s most famous Jeeves and Wooster pairing, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, are not necessary – this production offers its own take on these two characters and delivers something truly unique and refreshing throughout its two-hour running time.

 

So, if it’s an evening of good, clean fun and hilarity that you are looking for then this is the play for you. Perfectly enjoyable!


 
Listing Information

Theatre Royal Glasgow

Mon 24 – Sat 29 Nov

Mon – Sat eves 7.30pm

Thu & Sat mats 2.30pm

Box Office 08448 717 647 (bkg fee)

www.atgtickets.com/glasgow (bkg fee)

Review by Mark Ridyard 

Comments

1 Comment

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 3 years ago
    Many thanks to Mark Ridyard for this entertaining and informative review!
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