We at PG HQ love a bit of our namesake Mr P.G. Wodehouse and his fabulous creations of Jeeves & Wooster. In fact we regularly post his quotes on Twitter.
So I (#1PG) was bally delighted to be taken as a birthday present to see the new show ‘Jeeves & Wooster in A Perfect Nonsense’. Myself, Mrs 1PG, the Matriarch and her Escort toddled along to St Martin’s Lane to visit upon young Bertram Wooster and his skillful manservant Jeeves.
Bertie Wooster is here to tell you a story, which he has been told would be good on stage, so here he is telling you the tale. Soon he is asking for some able assistance from the mighty Jeeves.
The play is a 3 hander, with Jeeves and another Gentleman’s Gentleman, Seppings playing all the other parts as Bertram Wilberforce Wooster imparts his tale to the audience. If you have seen The 39 Steps, then you will be familiar with this type of play, with it’s relatively bare set and comedic changes of character by the actors. In this play the other parts were played by Jeeves and Seppings in full character, which in itself was hilarious.
The Goodale brothers adaptation is superb they have taken the essence of great Wodehouse and enhanced it for the stage and the modern audience, I think old P.G. himself would have guffawed heartily. Sean Foley’s expert direction guides the play with grace and ease. (Personally, I cannot wait for his ‘Around the World in 80 Days’)
The acting was superb and the comic timing was excellent. Stephen Mangan’s Bertie was the right mix of buffoonery and compassion. He was on the stage for pretty much the entire performance and his energy was infectious to us in the stalls. Matthew Macfadyen’s Jeeves was a triumph, his comic timing was superb. I have never seen him perform comedy, which we have seen Mr Mangan do, and as such he is a revelation. His performance of many characters, including the ladies was joyous to behold and his turn as Jeeves alone was truly wonderful. A special mention has to go Mark Hadfield’s Seppings, who performs the rest of the characters alongside Jeeves. He is wonderful and watch out for the car driving scene and the railway crossing – I can’t say anymore for sake of spoilers!
It is a sheer delight to watch. The audience, who were addressed and engaged with, laughed all the way through and at the end the applause was rousing. We all four of us bounced out of the theatre with a jig in our step! It had made us laugh, so hard that Mrs 1PG’s cheeks still hurt the next day.
Without a shadow of a doubt a play that one must see and as they have extend the run with these actors till April, I would make it a ticket that even Aunt Agatha would instruct you to purchase!