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Three Men in a Boat at the Theatre Royal Windsor

Published by: Clare Brotherwood on 24th Feb 2015 | View all blogs by Clare Brotherwood


Even though I have seen a few other productions of Three Men in a Boat, I don’t think I’ve ever seen one which is so off the wall.

Produced by The Original Theatre Company and the Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, director Craig Gilbert’s first full length play bows more to Monty Python than the Victorian solicitors’ clerk’s account of his holiday on the Thames in an open skiff with his friends Harris and George. They’ve even got a ‘funny walk’ in it, while fox terrier Montmorency (who was, incidentally, fictional) reminds me more of the dead parrot sketch.

But looking through my own copy of the book, I have to admit that they do pretty much stick with the original dialogue – until you come to the music hall song and dance routines, the accompanying pianist and the fact that this show is set in a pub!

J is giving a talk about his journey in said pub as the village hall has been destroyed (no going half measures here). His audience is the theatre audience and as he attempts to tell his tale his two friends get up to all sorts of jolly japes.

It’s almost silly schoolboy humour, but the timing is spot on, with the three actors, David Partridge as J (looking uncannily like John Cleese), Michael Rouse as George and Tom Hackney as Harris, in an almost choreographed piece with some very impressive quick changes.

Anna Westlake as Nelly the pianist (and accordionist) fits in easily as their accompanist and adds much to the show with well thought-out tunes and some little cheeky asides.

Three Men in a Boat is at the Theatre Royal Windsor until Feb 28.

Box office: 01753 853888

It then continues touring:

Mar 3-7: Devonshire Park Theatre, Eastbourne

Mar 23-25: Mercury Theatre, Colchester

Mar 26-27: Venue Cymru, Llandudno




1 Comment

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 3 years ago
    Thanks, Clare. Sounds like an interesting take on this piece.
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