Saturday, 28 June 2014

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels: Musical Theatre Review


Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a musical based on the film of the same name, with music and lyrics by David Yazbek and a book by Jeffrey Lane this musical made its Broadway debut almost 10 years ago. With a star cast that included John Lithgow, Norbert Leo Butz and Sherie Rene Scott the show was nominated for 10 Tony Awards however only managing to win 1. The show began its journey on this side of the Atlantic in November last year, having a pre-West End tryout at the Manchester Opera House and the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre. It finally opened on April 2, 2014 with direction and choreography by Jerry Mitchell and design by Peter McKintosh. 

The story is very similar to the film; two conmen, one who has been doing it for years and another who is new on the scene, get to together and have a bet as to who can get $50,000 out of the ‘soap queen’. The film is brilliant and I wasn’t expecting the story of the musical to be so close to it but, as they say, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it! The story was super easy to follow, to be honest you don’t need to concentrate on it so that allows you to sit back, relax and have a laugh. Exactly what this show is about. 

I absolutely love musicals that make fun of themselves (in a good way) and this one doesn’t take itself to seriously. That is supported by Jerry Mitchell’s direction and choreography, he’s handled this show with care but hasn’t scared away from pointing a little fun at it. It’s a divine production and he is very much responsible for that, but a lot of it is down to Peter McKintosh. 

Peter designs the show’s costumes and set and he has created a lush and lavish world, can he make me one of those sparkly dresses? I loved them! The way the set manoeuvred was really inventive too, quite simple, but very effective. One of the things that stood out for me was the stair case, pulling them open to reveal the Rupretch room was genius! 

Robert Lindsay, Rufus Hound, Katherine Kingsley, Samantha Bond and John Marquez star in the show. The casting couldn’t be more spot on, I can’t find the name of the casting director in the programme but I hope they got a massive pay check for the work they’ve done on this production. 

Robert Lindsay is a living legend and couldn’t be more perfect for this role, he oozes class but plays it up to the audience so its like you’re his friend for the evening. Its great! 

Rufus Hound, again, perfectly cast. He definitely settled into the show as he went along, not so comfortable in the role nearer the beginning but his ‘Great Big Stuff’ number picked him up. And some of the notes he reached in the final number ‘Dirty Rotten Number’ were insane! 

Katherine Kingsley is a goddess, one of the best performers I have ever had the pleasure of watching. What a talent, and she couldn't be more perfect for the role of Christine Colgate. She is one of my favourite actresses and she does not disappoint in this role! 

Being her first musical, Samantha Bond gives a magnificent and classy performance and plays the comedy in it splendidly. She is delightful to watch on stage and really glides across the savoy with such class. 

I find it a little hard to talk about John Marquez as Andre Thibault because I didn’t feel very much for the character, there wasn’t much excitement around the role and the story centred more around the other characters than him. Although he was good in the role and had some really nice moments on stage with Robert Lindsay. 

Lizzy Connolly was a really nice addition to the cast, even though her role was quite small she shone and her number was one of the highlights! 

The thing that topped it off for me was the ensemble, they were great. They all had some really great characters and they really were a pleasure to watch. Some stand outs for me were Claire Doyle, Zak Nemorin and Dominic Tribuzio. 

This show is absolutely gorgeous, its classy but hilarious! One of the best casts on the West End and definitely one of the funniest, in my books its the hottest ticket in town. If you miss this you’re missing one of the best theatrical events of the year. 


Rating: 

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is currently at the Savoy Theatre 


Cast Includes: Robert Lindsay, Rufus Hound, Katherine Kingsley, Samantha Bond, John Marquez, Lizzy Connolly, Gavin Alex, Darren Bennett, Niamh Bracken, Lisa Bridge, Darren Carnall, Andy Conaghan, Phoebe Coupe, Claire Doyle, Alice Fearn, Selina Hamilton, Ian Knauer, Lisa Mathieson, Zak Nemorin, Genevieve Nicole, Javier Santos, Todd Talbot, Dominic Tribuzio, Jon Tsouras and Zara Warren.

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