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Theatre Review: One Man Two Guvnors - The Lowry, Salford

Jodie Prenger

Jodie Prenger

  • by Steve Canavan
 

THIS is not the kind of highbrow theatre one dissects in intellectual discussions afterwards. It is pure sit down and enjoy it.

The plot is simple - one man (comedian Rufus Hound doing an excellent job after taking over from James Corden, who played the role during its original West End run and on Broadway) lands two jobs but has problems remembering which gaffer he is working for, especially when his bosses are actually lovers.

But the plot really doesn’t matter. It is the wonderful daftness of it which makes the play the riotous two-and-a-half hours of fun it is, with some lovely improvising - mainly from Hound - adding to the chaos.

Blackpool’s Jodie Prenger is simply excellent as the breathy, man-hungry Dolly, and proves she can do comedy as well as she sings.

But all the cast are impressive, with no weak spots among them - a bit of a rarity.

The highlight is the scene just before the interval when a member of the audience is dragged on stage and, after being subjected to all sorts of humiliation, has to be helped off by a member of staff. All is not as it seems but it is memorable while it lasts. It’s easy to see why Nicholas Hynter’s National Theatre production has been a worldwide hit.

It is fast-moving, funny, witty and just plain stupid. All of which, on a rainy, windswept, chilly evening in Manchester, adds up to a damn good night out.

One Man, Two Guvnors is until Saturday January 19.

 

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