Why See One Man, Two Guvnors?
A Comic Tour De Force!
Richard Bean's One Man, Two Guvnors was hailed as the funniest thing to hit London stages since Michael Frayn's Noises Off! Adapted from Carlo Goldoni's The Master of Two Servants, it's the tale of the always hungry Francis Henshall and his struggle to keep his two employers from finding out about each other. A hundred mile an hour farce, which ratchets up the comedic momentum over the course of its slapstick-filled 2 hours, it was one of the West End's greatest modern hits.
The play premiered in 2011 at The National Theatre under the direction of Nicholas Hytner (The Madness of King George, The History Boys) before heading out on tour and making its West End debut at the Adelphi in the same year. For all these productions the cast was headed by James Corden (Horne and Corden, Gavin and Stacey), adding another acclaimed stage turn to his resume after his role in the original History Boys production. Corden subsequently left to head the Broadway cast (for which he would win a Tony Award) in 2012 and the London version moved the The Haymarket Theatre. Would it survive without its leading man? The answer of course was yes.
In his review, Charles Spencer of The Telegraph remarked that the new leading man Owain Arthur "proves Corden's equal", while the other newcomers were just as impressive. In their five star review, The Evening Standard said that Bean's writing reached a "rare and dizzying pinnacle" and it was an "impeccable production". The show closed on 1st March, before heading out on subsequent UK and international tours.
What is One Man, Two Guvnors About?
In 1960s Brighton, Francis Henshall has got himself into a tricky situation. Fired from his skiffle band, a desperate Henshall has somehow gotten himself not one but two brand new jobs. He's been employed by both Rosco Crabbie, a petty criminal from London's East End and Stanley Stubbers, a criminal of a nobler breed. In their line of work, both of these characters value loyalty from their employees, so Henshall must stop each of them from discovering that he's holding down two jobs at once. Then it's revealed that Rosco Crabbie is actually Rachel Crabbie is disguise, Rosco having been killed by Rachel's lover Stanley Stubbers, and that's when things really start to get complicated...
Opening night: 2 March 2012
One Man, Two Guvnors is suitable for audiences aged 14 and upwards.
2 hours and 30 minutes with one 15 minute intermission.
Cast and Creative
Owain Arthur as Francis Henshall
Angela Griffin as Dolly
Kellie Shirley as Pauline Clench
Peter Caulfield as Alfie
Dominic Thorburn as Alan
CreativeAuthor - Richard Bean, based on The Servant Of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni
Director - Nicholas Hytner
Music - Grant Olding
Sound - Paul Arditti
Lighting Designer - Mark Henderson
Designer - Mark Thompson
Producer - National Theatre
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