#AD We were invited to the press night for Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense which is currently showing at Chipping Norton’s Theatre until 15th February 2020.
The show has actually been produced by two Cotswold theatres, The Theatre Chipping Norton and the Barn Theatre in Cirencester, and is about to embark on a 17-week tour of the UK, taking in over 30 regional theatres, arts venues and village halls. It’s the longest ever tour Chipping Norton Theatre has created to date.
This production was written by the Goodale Brothers and uses PG Wodehouse’s famous upstairs-downstairs comic duo Jeeves and Worcester who originally sprang into the literary world from the pages of The Code of the Woosters.
It’s a classic ‘play within a play’ as we see aristocratic buffoon, Bertie, hire the theatre for the night to present his one man show detailing spectacular misadventures including the theft of a silver cow creamer and a narrow escape from unwanted matrimony. In typical fashion, it seems that Bertie hasn’t thought much into the practicalities of his show – and in steps Jeeves to save the performance.
The play is directed by Chipping Norton Theatre’s artistic director John Terry and features just three actors, Matthew Cavendish as Bertie, Andrew Ashford as Jeeves and Andrew Cullum as Seepings.
The cast did an amazing job at carrying the audience along this wacky tale managing scenery with comic panache, Cullum’s train stop was particularly memorable and both, Ashford and Cullum were especially adept at transforming into multiple characters. At one point, Ashford as Jeeves has a three way conversation with himself!
Cavendish (Bertie) was a really exuberant protagonist and performs regularly with Mischief Theatre, appearing in The Play That Goes Wrong in the West End and on Broadway, as well as Peter Pan Goes Wrong and A Comedy About a Bank Robbery in the West End.
This show originally premiered in 2013 at 5 Richmond Theatre with the lead roles being played by Stephen Mangan and Matthew Macfadyen, then transferred to the Duke of York’s Theatre in the West End. It won the 2014 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy.
Director John Terry said, “If ever there was a time when the world needed the sunlight, optimism and wit of P.G. Wodehouse, it might be now. Anarchically, brilliantly funny, and a huge theatrical challenge to bring to the stage, we are delighted to be remounting this fantastic comedy.”
Tickets available via Chipping Norton Box Office: https://www.chippingnortontheatre.com/