Jeeves & Wooster
Posted 16 October 2013 - 05:00 PM
Even though I could see what was going on on stage, I didn't find the first half set up funny, rather a bit strained and tedious. The second half pay off was more amusing, though still sub Noises Off at the Old Vic, itself only average in my view.
I compare this to Noises Off because Jeeves and Wooster is about putting on a play for an audience, and the laughs come as the actors race around running into mishaps staging the story, most fires put out by Jeeves.
The fourth wall is broken as Stephen Mangan's Bertie Wooster directly addresses the audience. He tells a story of how farcical events befell him and how Matthew Macfadyen's Jeeves saved his bacon, even as Jeeves rushes around providing props and recruiting actors to save Bertie's story from becoming boring. Most usefully, Jeeves' recruits Mark Hadfield's Seppings to play the most hammy comedic parts in Bertie's story.
Hadfield is excellent hamming it up as a tall dictator and a frantic old aunt, and indeed, as Seppings himself, who only has a terrible cough when he is being himself.
Matthew Macfadyen and Stephen Mangan are extremely game and well cast, but like in Barking for Essex, I felt the performers were above the material they were given to work with.
Macfadyen's Private Lives and Mangan's recent pregnant man play at the Royal Court were both much funnier than this.
Only Trafalgar 2's recent "Play that isn't a play," or whatever it was called, triumphed doing this postmodern play within a play farce genre. Unlike this and Noises Off, there I was reduced to belly laughs. Here, my embarrassed forced smile did break into mild amusement in the second half, but I can't give it more than 2 and a half stars, at a stretch.
Which is a shame, as I've always been thrilled to see Macfadyen perform, ever since his wonderful appearance in that Poliakov television masterpiece with Michael Gambon. At least Matthew gets to dress up in women's clothes and operate a dog puppet, which was fun.
Incidentally, interval conversation proved more fun than the play when the lady sitting next to me revealed she had appeared in 2 Bond films.
Posted 18 October 2013 - 10:05 PM
Just got back from the unfunniest ever "comedy" I have seen.
Watched open mouthed at the Richmond "audience" rolling about in laughter.
They must have empty lives.
I cannot believe it will be coming to the West End.
At the prices they are charging.
People are going to feel incredibly short changed.
I would not even award it one star.
Posted 28 October 2013 - 01:09 PM
Posted 28 October 2013 - 01:10 PM
Posted 28 October 2013 - 01:21 PM
Posted 31 October 2013 - 09:47 PM
You can just tell it's going to be hideously unfunny
Posted 31 October 2013 - 10:25 PM
Although with a cast of 3 and no set to speak of they will rake in the money on this one.
Posted 01 November 2013 - 12:04 PM
Would be nice to think that the theatre going audiences will enjoy this for what it is - a good piece of farcical theatre. You don't have to think too much about it but who cares - it makes people laugh and that’s not such a bad thing.
Posted 01 November 2013 - 12:08 PM
Posted 02 November 2013 - 02:24 AM
I can see the comparison with "The Play That Goes Wrong", which, at just over an hour or so and at £15, was a superb bit of entertainment. But I felt this worked, I love Wodehouse and there are some plummy lines. "House Full" board was up at the front.
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