I saw Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense at The Mayflower Theatre on Tuesday 18th November 2014, its opening night.
Sadly the run is only on in Southampton for a few days but I would urge anyone who loves comedy and/or the works of P.G. Wodehouse to try to see this wonderful show. It is currently touring the UK.
The cast were John Gordon Sinclair (Jeeves and a host of other characters), James Lance (Bertie, who narrates the tale) and Robert Goodale (Seppings and a host of other characters).
Wodehouse fans will get all the gags, recognise the quotes from various Wodehouse stories and see Jeeves, Wooster and Seppings come to life.
Gussie Fink-Nottle, Roderick Spode, Sir Watkyn Bassett and his daughter Madeline Bassett are made real, which is remarkable given there are only 3 actors in the whole show, and not one of them is a woman!
The audience burst out laughing when towards the end Sir Watkyn Bassett and Madeline have to be on stage at the same time given they’re played by the same actor! And there were many laugh out loud moments in this great show.
The basic plot revolves around Bertie, unwittingly, having to play matchmaker when a country house weekend takes a turn for the worse. If he doesn’t succeed he will end up being the bridegroom to Madeline Bassett and let’s just say he’s not keen! He also has to steal a silver cow creamer from Totleigh Towers to please his aunt but he is also commissioned to pinch it for Stiffy Byng in her bid to make her uncle, Sir Watkyn Bassett, agree to let her marry the local curate.
Who does Bertie please? Both his aunt Dahlia and Stiffy Byng will ensure Bertie gets the fall out from their displeasure if he doesn’t do what they want. Only Jeeves can get Bertie out of this and the fun is in seeing how he does it.
The stage set
The stage set is well done and quickly envisages Bertie Wooster’s flat, Totleigh Towers, the antique shop where the coveted silver cow creamer is being offered for sale. The entire audience loved the way Seppings got on to this bike to pedal the next scene round on to the stage! Oh and the way they “produce” a “roaring fire” is highly amusing too.
The great thing is if you know nothing about Wodehouse or his characters, this show makes an excellent introduction to them. You quickly get a flavour for the humour (wonderfully silly!) and I’d be amazed if after seeing this show, you don’t leave the theatre, feeling remarkably “bucked up” to quote the great Master.
Ten out of ten for story, performance (the sheer energy of all 3 actors is remarkable and the chemistry between them amazing) and as a tribute to Britain’s finest ever humorous writer I think P.G. Wodehouse would be very proud of this. It’s a great tribute to his two star creations.
The official trailer
The Olivier Award-winning ‘Best Comedy’ is now touring the UK, direct from London’s West End! Starring John Gordon Sinclair, James Lance and Robert Goodale.