One Man, Two Govnors by Richard Bean – The New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich, showing Thu 5th to Sat 28th Sep
One Man Two Govnors is the updated tale of Carlo Goldoni’s 1746 comedy The Servant of Two Masters, reinvented by Richard Bean to make the show we know today. Set in 1963, Brighton, we follow the misadventures of Francis Henshall as he finds himself employed by two governors, one of which, Rachel Crabbe, is a woman in disguise as her dead twin brother Roscoe. She is seeking money from the father of the girl Roscoe was to be married too, so she can flee the country to be reunited with her love. Unfortunately, Francis’s other Governor happens to be Stanley Stubbers, the man who killed Rachel’s brother, yet is also Rachel’s lover. This tail is intertwined with ingenious slap stick, passionate romances and well-placed musical numbers.
From the very start of the show and all through out, each character was easily discernible. It was clear every actor had devised their character’s mannerisms down to a tee. Someone who particularly stood out to me was Richard Leeming, playing the role of Alfie (an elderly waiter who is often the victim of many blows and falls). He upheld difficult body language without fault whilst still being convincing.
Amongst the many melodramatic moments of the show I can say Philip Tomlin, who portrayed Francis Henshall, made some of the most comically pleasing moments. Considering this was his first professional stage job he certainly brought the audience a lot of joy and certainly did justice to the role.
Each costume and set design added to mood and period of the show. I felt the costumes especially represented the character’s personalities accurately.
Although I felt the slap stick was executed in a tasteful manner in which I and much of the audience enjoyed, at times certain jokes may have been too repetitive and some of the dramatic monologues were a little too drawn out.
Overall, I can say can the show kept me entertained and captured in the story. Energy and charm were upheld throughout the production and I would be thrilled to see it again.
- Ella Peartree – East Berholt High School