What a fabulously fun show! Stupendous silliness ensues as Bertie Wooster attempts to retell the goings on of his recent escapades utilising Jeeves and Sepping as all the other characters. What follows is pure madcap farcical escapism, which is wonderful.
Stephen Mangan is perfect as the loveable Wooster, at home interacting with the audience and ad-libbing as necessary. No fourth wall exists here and the play is much stronger for encompassing the audience. Matthew Macfadyen gives an equally impressive performance as Jeeves, and there is a brilliant interplay between him and Mangan on numerous occasions. Macfadyen also gives excellent performances of the other characters (all the while being Jeeves playing them – I know it sounds bonkers but it works!)
Add to this duo the wacky performances of Mark Hadfield and you’ve got a palpable hit. Mark Hadfield’s turns I think were some of the best and literally had me crying with laughter.
As a fan of the original books, I have to say I think the Goodale brothers have done a tremendous job with transposing the story from the page to the stage. Sean Foley is an expert director of comedy and he nails the nuances and timing perfectly here. They are all aided in bringing it to life by Alice Powers genius set and costumes. Seeing how it all comes together is part of the joy of the piece and I was surprised in how they chose to do it, but by Jove it works spiffingly well I say!
If you enjoyed The 39 Steps, this is similar in its type of comedy and will be right up your street. There are many shows that claim to be “The funniest show in the West End.” for my money this is certainly the owner of that title.
STARS : ★ ★ ★ ★ ★