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One Man Two Guvs @ The Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury

Published by: Yvonne Delahaye on 12th Aug 2014 | View all blogs by Yvonne Delahaye


Carlo Goldoni (1707-1793) born in Venice, wrote over 200 plays, of which 150 are comedies.  One of his best known works, Il Servitore di Due Padroni (The Servant of Two Masters), was given a new lease of life by Richard Bean, who adapted it in 2011 for the National Theatre, setting it in Brighton in 1963.  Now seen by over 1 million people worldwide, this internationally-acclaimed smash-hit has been hailed as 'the funniest show on the planet' by The Mail and a 'comic classic' by The Guardian and has been hugely successful on Broadway, in the West End and on tour in the UK as well as Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand..

One Man, Two Guvnors is the hilarious story of Francis Henshall who, fired from his skiffle band, becomes minder to Roscoe Crabbe. But Roscoe is really Rachel, posing as her own dead brother - who's been killed by her boyfriend Stanley Stubbers. Francis spots the chance of an extra meal ticket and takes a job with one Stanley Stubbers - but to prevent discovery, he must keep his two guvnors apart. It has been described as a glorious celebration of British comedy - a unique, laugh-out-loud mix of satire, songs, slapstick and glittering one-liners.

The Kraze One Man 2 Guvnors.jpg

The acclaimed production has songs by Grant Olding, performed by skiffle band The Craze, who entertain the audience before the first and second acts. Every movement is carefully choreographed for maximum comedy effect by the Physical Comedy Director  Cal McCrystal and Choreographer and Tour Director Adam Penford, with designs by Mark Thompson, lighting by Mark Henderson, sound design by Paul Arditti, fight direction by Kate Waters.

Gavin Spokes and Emma Barton by Johan Persson.jpg

Literally throwing himself into the role of Francis Henshall is Gavin Spokes who recently appeared in 1984  and Jamie Lloyd's production of She Stoops to Conquer.  He played Hardy in Laurel and Hardy for the Watermill Theatre.

Emma Barton, Shaun Williamson, Derek Elroy One Man 2 Guvs.jpgShaun Williamson, probably best known for his roles as Barry in EastEnders, Extras and Life's Too Short for Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, plays scrap dealer Charlie ‘the Duck’ Clench.

Emma Barton, playing Francis’s love interest Dolly, is well known to TV viewers for her role as Honey Mitchell in EastEnders, a role she played for three years and she recently appeared in Celebrity Masterchef.

Jasmyn Banks is Pauline Clench, Alicia Davies is Rachel Crabbe, Michael Dylan is Alfie, Derek Elroy plays Lloyd Boateng, Edward Hancock is Alan Dangle (playing the role of ‘an actor’ which I really enjoyed) and Patrick Warner plays Stanley Stubbers

Taking its roots from Commedia dell’arte, the play often moves into pantomime with carefully crafted  audience participation.  The restaurant scene, as always, is the funniest scene in the play, leaving the audience roaring with laughter at the slapstick antics and mishaps.  Precise comic timing is an absolute must in this show and the cast execute this to perfection.

Having seen the original tour with the superb James Cordon starring, I was a little disappointed to see that some very coarse lines had been added, which seemed to be unnecessary and actually distracted from the comedy.  The style seems to have changed too, playing specifically for laughs, but the audience love it nonetheless and I can see this touring for many years to come.

Performances:   Mon 11 – Sat 16 Aug
Evenings 7.30pm, Thu & Sat Mat 2.30pm
Tickets:  £10 - £29.50 when booked online or over the phone. (premium seats also available)
Box Office:  0844 871 7607 (bkg fee)
Groups Hotline:  0844 871 7614
Access Booking: 0844 871 7677 (bkg fee)
Online Booking:  (bkg fee)

The tour continues to:
Crawley Heath
18 – 23 August 2014
Regent Theatre, Stoke-on-Trent
25 – 30 August 2014
Liverpool Empire
1 – 6 September 2014
Theatre Royal, Bath
8 – 20 September 2014
Royal & Derngate, Northampton
22 – 27 September 2014
Further dates and info can be found on:

Reviewed by:
Yvonne Delahaye



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