One Man, Two Guvnors, Witham Dramatic Club – Witham Public Hall. 24/11/16
What a joy it was to see this modern farce performed locally. Originally starring James Corden both in London’s West End and on Broadway, you wonder how can anyone fill his shoes?
Well, Adam Williams certainly did just that. He has a whimsical, winning charm which the audience lapped up. His comic timing was impeccable as was his interaction with the audience. His face, almost like melted rubber, showed every possible emotion and some I don’t think have even been invented yet. He was the glue which held this production together and he was a real tour de force.
To act alongside such an accomplished performer, it needs actors of equal standing and Witham Dramatic Club had plenty in this production. I particularly liked Nigel Northfield, who had a slight George Cole feel about his performance as Charlie ‘the Duck’ Clench, he would have been right at home doing some dodgy deals in the east end of London. Corrina Wilson as both Roscoe and Rachel showed great versatility, swiftly switching seamlessly from one voice to another in her gender transformation and Michael Howard as her lover Stanley, complete with his ‘hairy bear’ chest, was the posh twit in crime as the other guvnor. I also enjoyed both Ed Groombridge as the flamboyant and OTT actor Orlando Alan Dangle (obviously this is not something actors are never accused of!!) and his wonderfully dim girlfriend Pauline, played by Stephanie Wilson, who delivered some great one-liners and who incidentally proved she has a fantastic singing voice at the end. The remaining cast all worked really incredibly hard and gave strong performances.
With a play like this, which crosses the fourth wall constantly, the audience improvisation sections are a key element. Oh, what a star ‘Christine Pattison from Witham’ was!!
I personally, am a huge fan of speedy patter dialogue and the ‘he died in Didcot of diabetes’ sections were flawless, particularly as the diction was so good you could hear every word.
Usually, any comments about a ‘nice set’ are sometimes considered as indicative of a lack of other positive comments about a production but that is definitely not the case here because the set deserves special mention. I absolutely loved the simplicity of the rotating panels. Scene changes were choreographed so well and were an integral part of the action. I loved it!
It was a thoroughly enjoyable production and my only constructive comment was that it took a while to get going at the beginning but once all the characters found their feet it took off and gave barrells of laughs.
If you are free this week, it is definitely worth getting a ticket and going along for a hilarious evening of entertainment. Congratulations to all involved.