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One Man Two Guv’nors

A very difficult play for an amateur society, but I thought this production was well cast.

The set was a little disappointing – it was what I would term as shabby, and didn’t seem as solid and well constructed as usual for the Rep.  However the design was very good, and the revolve kept the scenes flowing.

I liked the idea of showing the band on the radio/TV, recorded by Andy Sizmur and the Bell Boys – and also having live music, courtesy of Josh Thompson, it was a feature that was maintained well throughout.

Richard Alexander as the main character Francis Henshall, was very mobile and energetic, flinging himself around, whilst maintaining his character as the confused man with two guv’nors.  I felt he was wondering what to do with his hands in the first part of the show, but by act 2 his portrayal had consolidated.  

Chloe Badham gave a good performance as Rachel, she accomplished being her brother Roscoe and wearing mens clothes very well.

I liked Anthony Bird’s Stanley – he created a very good upper class man, with lots of light and shade in his characterisation.

Fiona Smout created a delightfully dumb Pauline – alongside Ollie Hope as the very dramatic Alan – this pair interacted well, giving a good three dimensional relationship.

Costumes were mostly good, however there were a couple of things that could have been better fitting, particularly Richard’s waistcoat and Andre’s jacket.

It was good to see Andre Newman back on stage, and along with Tim Hayden and Ben Jaggers, created a credibly mature trio, as a contrast to the younger members of the cast.  Nicely acted by these three.

I really enjoyed Jenna Ryder-Oliver’s portrayal of Dolly, she gave the blowsy, brash character real meaning and intent.

Luke Murphy came up trumps as Alfie, the waiter with a pacemaker – very funny and a completely different sort of role for Luke, which he executed extremely well.

I thought the audience participation section went really well, and the dining scene flowed with pace and energy.

The seagull sound effects were a little quiet – they needed to be more resonant, as I could hear several people wondering what the noise was – as it wasn’t immediately apparent that it was supposed to be seagulls!

Josh Thompson and the ensemble of Katie Alys Barton, David Hillman, Graham Read, Jamie Staton and Unami Tenga completed the line up and fulfilled minor parts well.

Overall I enjoyed the production but with reservations, however I went on the first night, so possibly there were places where action, pace etc could have been tighter, and some technical considerations with regard to the set needed attention.  A very ambitious production that worked on most levels.

Dunstable Rep

“One Man Two Guv’nors”

review date: 23rd September 2016

Little Theatre, Dunstable

Director:  Annalise Carter-Brown  


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