Apr 12, 2012
I must confess I very rarely go the theatre. I have a slight attention span problem. I also have a morbid fear of ‘prescribed comedy’. So, combine the two and I will usually recoil in horror. Chuck in some enthusiastic musical element and I generally am gone before you can say ‘Jazz Hands’. I’m no cultural philistine. I’ve read Camus, (en français). It’s just the way I am. I must admit I thought ‘what am I doing?’ when I accepted an invite to go and see One Man Two Governors a few weeks ago. I was undergoing a detox at the time and was seeking light distraction. Plus it meant I got to hang out with Fleur and Laura. I figured if it was rubbish I could fall alseep.
I went. I enjoyed. I would recommend. Yes, here is the clichéd part where I go ‘ I was pleasantly surprised, I loved it!’. I really did.
Here is the skinny:
‘Fired from his skiffle band, Francis Henshall becomes minder to Roscoe Crabbe. But Roscoe is really Rachel, posing as her own dead brother – who’s been killed by her boyfriend Stanley Stubbers. Francis spots the chance of an extra meal ticket and takes a job with one Stanley Stubbers – but to prevent discovery, he must keep his two guvnors apart. Simple.’
My attention span issues where catered for with musical interludes from the rather easy on the eye in-house band The Craze, who oddly don’t look at all like they do on their website. Am I missing something?
I am hard to please comedy – wise and the initial jokes felt a little weak, but it gets clever. The laughs are built around the character development and at points I was crying with laughter. There are also a few points in the show where the unexpected happens and you have no idea if it was meant to be that way or not. I have never encountered this before, and at some points it was truly shocking. I like shocking.
The show is feted for James Corden’s role as Francis Henshall but I have a sneaky feeling that replacement Owain Arthur does it better. Ben Mansfield is excellent as the chappist Stanley Stubbers who pulls it off without being too slapstick. The main accolade goes to the lesser role of the ‘actor boyfriend’. This character had all 3 of us in tears, as he appeared to be composed of small parts of notable ex boyfriends.
I didn’t fidget or look at Twitter at all during the 2.5h performance. That’s as good an endorsement as I can give.
Currently on at London’s Haymarket.