Theatre Review: One Man, Two Guvnors

By Julia Parry | 12th March 2015



This week York is being treated to a real laugh out loud comedy in the finest British tradition. The rip-roaring farce had the Grand Opera House audience delighted on Tuesday evening.

The play is based on Carlo Goldini’s Italian comedy, The Servant of Two Masters. Richard Bean has transformed the 18th century classic and given it a traditional British twist. Throughout the evening the skiffle band The Craze firmly planted us in the early 1960s with feel good songs written by Grant Olding.

Acclaimed director Nicholas Hytner’ s wonderful production tells the story of lovable chancer Francis Henshall, played brilliantly by Gavin Spokes - whose ad-libbing and script following became somewhat blurred at times and utterly hilarious, it was impossible to know exactly what was scripted, his comedic banter with the audience was superb.

Now, to try and outline the story; Francis Henshall was fired from his skiffle group and becomes minder to Roscoe Crabbe. But Roscoe is really Rachel posing as her dead twin brother who was killed by her boyfriend Stanley Stubbers. Francis takes the chance of an extra meal ticket and takes another job with one Stanley Stubbers - but to prevent discovery he must keep his two guvnors apart….

The ensuing madness is a truly wonderful celebration of British comedy at it’s funniest, it is a unique laugh out loud mix of satire, songs, slap stick and sparkling one-liners.

The whole ensemble were so slick with timing and all masters of their performances, treating us to a truly memorable and extremely funny night out.

One Man, Two Guvors is on at the Grand Opera House in York until Saturday 14 March. Tickets are £10.00 - £29.50 and can be purchased by contacting the Box Office on 0844 871 3024 or booking online.

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