You know when you find yourself standing in the theatre foyer doing a jig after the show that you had a great night out. Opening night at Theatre on the Bay for Jeeves & Wooster in Perfect Nonsense was just that!
Some of you may know the (in my opinion) hilarious British comedy-drama series Jeeves & Wooster starring Hugh Laurie as Bertie Wooster and Stephen Fry as his butler Jeeves. Any Hugh Laurie/Bertie fan will squeal with delight when they see Jonathan Roxmouth take on this role. His delivery and comedic timing stayed very true to the original character, while adding that famous Roxmouth charm. Fans of the original will delight in his performance, his character quirks may however be lost on others who do not see the resemblance.
Graham Hopkins as the ever dutiful Jeeves is absolutely brilliant and will have you folding double with laughter. At stages I got so swept up by the story unfolding before me, in which Hopkins and his barking (yes barking) plays a big role that I forgot I was surrounded by other patrons. Like I child I just hung on their every word and action, swept away by the fun of it all.
The superstar of this show however is, without a doubt, Robert Fridjon as the masterful impersonator Seppings. The way he switches between characters and weaves the whole story together is hilarious. The comedic genius of Fridjon, whether scripted or not, will always shine through in every show. In Jeeves & Wooster again he is an absolute scream, and not the terrified Halloween-type, but the “I NEED to see this show again” type of scream till you feel like you are going to keel over with laughter.
This play adaptation of the works of P G Wodehouse by the Goodale Brothers, directed by Steven Stead and designed by Greg King, is fun from beginning to end. You will leave the theatre knowing exactly why this play is the winner of the 2014 Olivier Award for Best Comedy.
The play as a whole, including set design which is so crucial it feels like it has a character “role” of its own, is brilliant, sleek, funny and definitely worth the drive out to the beautiful Theatre on the Bay before run ends 8 November. Booking through Computicket.
Scene It by Barbara Loots