One Man, Two Guvnors was a smash hit in the West End when it opened in 2011 and it is soon to be staged in West Sussex by the Henfield Theatre Company. And that’s appropriate because the play, by Richard Bean, is set in 1960s Brighton. It is based on the 1743 Commedia dell’arte play, The Servant of Two Masters, by Carlo Goldoni. The genre known as Commedia dell’arte developed in Italy during the 16th century; it involved improvisation around a number of recognised plots but with slap-stick style acrobatics and a lot of comedy. It took Europe by storm and, in England morphed into our beloved pantomime. One Man, Two Guvnors is a mad mixture of farce, slapstick, pantomime, music hall and audience participation. There will also be a live skiffle band entertaining the audience with zippy music to accompany the action. The production is directed by Peter Ingledew who is well known within the company for a love of fun and frolics! He is delighted to get his teeth into the characters that this brilliantly written script presents. The central character, Francis Henshall is an out of work skiffle player who eventually secures two jobs but he really needs to keep his two “guvnors” from meeting each other. There are gangsters, girlfriends, a girl disguised as a man, a rubbish amateur actor (within the plot, of course) and many twists and turns. This one is a must see!
One Man, Two Guvnors will be staged at The Henfield Hall from Thursday 17 to Saturday 19 October, at 7.45pm.
Tickets, priced £8 and £10, are available from the box office (from 28 September) at Stevens Estate Agents, Henfield High Street (01273 492141), or online (from 1 September) at www.henfieldtheatrecompany.com.
For more information please see the above website. The production is kindly sponsored by Brighthelm-Stone, manufacturers of antique reproduction stone ware.