Saturday, October 8, 2016

Jeeves and Wooster in Review - Running till 16 Oct 2016


Lunchbox Theatrical Productions in association with
Mark Goucher and Mark Rubinstein present
P.G. Wodehouse’s
Jeeves and Wooster in
Perfect Nonsense
Original Director – Sean Foley
Adapted by The Goodale Brothers
Joseph Chance as Jeeves
Matthew Carter as Wooster
Robert Goodale as Seppings the Butler
6 Oct 2016
Capitol Theatre, Singapore

A Review by Hawk Liu

With one actor playing Wooster and the other 2 actors playing multiple characters in something of a screw-ball comedy/farce, one would anticipate lots of ridiculous costume changes, as well as actors' quickly exiting and entering from different directions. Yes, they did all that and on top of which they moved all the cleverly designed sets in quick time and precision. The actors were lively throughout, They all must lose a few kilos after each performance! They even made a joke out of that at the end of the play where Wooster asked Jeeves if they had to do all that again at the next evening's performance.

The characters were well played out with different physical expressions to distinguish between the different characters a single actor might play. There were a number of moments where it was hinted to the audience that 2 characters played by the same actor had to be on stage at the same time. How did they pull it off? Come and see!

In coming to a show like this, one must be prepared to encounter an early 20th century English theatrical sensibility with its references to characters that some British folks might have grown up knowing. If you do not fit into this category and had no prior exposure to even the television series Jeeves and Wooster, you would be lost in the significance of the characters being played out. It didn't help that other than Wooster, the other characters had rough and throaty voices that made clarity of diction difficult for me. In short, I lost the plot very early on in the Act One. The saving grace in diction was Matthew Carter, who played Wooster. His impeccable diction was greatly helped by his wonderfully clear vocal tone.

The Second Act was more interesting for me. There was a scene where 2 characters were skillfully played out by a single actor, Joseph Chance (the actor who also played Jeeves). There were many other gems in the play. Again, I must warn that for a play that is so verbose, diction might be a problem and one can lose the whole plot for that. If the humour of the early 20th century English is what you might like, this could be your thing to see.



Jeeves and Wooster is running till 16 October 2016 at the Capitol Theatre. Check out SISTIC for details!

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