Saturday, 5 April 2014

'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels' Savoy Theatre *****

Forget ‘I Can't Sing’, the awaited musical for 2014 is Jeffrey Lane’s adaptation of ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’, and for me, it doesn't disappoint whatsoever. The production tells the tale of Lawrence Jameson, a middle-aged man who seems to be extremely prosperous in conning and swindling money from anyone he encounters. However, a young opponent, Freddy Benson arrives in the area and appears to be occupying Lawrence prospective victims, and to ensure that he doesn't poach these people he manipulates him by taking him under his wing and educating him in this deceitful act. A challenge is set between the two when an American, Christine Colgate enters the scene. The narrative is infectious quirky and shows an intriguing portrayal of this horrific trade. What works for me is the relationship between Lawrence (Robert Lindsay) and Freddy (Rufus Hound) as they have an excellent chemistry that makes an audience not only entertained, but comfortable as well. This indicates that the two actors must relish in working with one another and establishes that rehearsals were incredibly fruitful. Musical Theatre currently has been adaptations from films, but I find that this one feels more suited to West End stage due to its lavish location of the French Riviera; also it's a fun production. David Yazbek's musical numbers are fascinatingly smouldering as they are mixed with Oklahoma hoedowns in "Oklahoma?" to the traditional musical spectacles such as "Great Big Stuff" and "Give Them What They Want". An impressive job that must be commended. The casting for 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels' is exceptional and the performances by all the company are excellent. Robert Lindsey is phenomenal as the suave and sophisticated rogue, Lawrence. Rufus hound is hilarious as Lawrence's rival, Freddy. Katherine Kingsley is brilliant as the naive American, who has a dark personality behind her facade. John Marquez provides a gracious performance as the rogue's associate and the ever lovely Samantha Bond is amazing as the lonesome Englishwoman, Muriel Eubanks. A great cast indeed. Jerry Mitchell's direction and choreography is astonishing as he has created a show that can appeal to a wide range of audiences and oozes charisma and charm throughout and it most certainly will immerse you in the world on the Savoy Theatre stage. Peter McKintosh's set and costume designs are beautiful and clearly depicts the characteristics of the characters and the feel of the French environment that the play is set. Such a superb job I grant you. I found my experience at 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels' to be a pleasant one and a production that I would recommend to you all to go and see.

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