One Man, Two Guvnors

One Man, Two Guvnors
Director: Nicholas Hytner
Writer: Richard Bean
Based on: Carlo Goldoni‘s Servant of Two Masters
Cast: James Corden, Jemima Rooper, Oliver Chris, Suzie Toase, Daniel Rigby, Claire Lams, Tom Edden
Seen on: 9.4.2020
[Here’s my review of an Austrian production of Goldoni’s play.]

Content Note: rape joke

Plot:
Pauline (Claire Lams) and Alan (Daniel Rigby) are celebrating their engagement when Frances (James Corden) knocks on the door to announce that his employer Roscoe (Jemima Rooper) is there. Roscoe supposedly died a couple of days ago and his sudden appearance is doubly upsetting because Pauline, and more importantly her dowry, were promised to him long time ago. What Pauline doesn’t know is that it isn’t actually Roscoe but his twin sister Rachel who comes to collect the dowry, so she can flee with her fiancé who did kill Roscoe. As Rachel-as-Roscoe waits for the dowry, she takes camp in a hotel. Also in that hotel – unbeknownst to Rachel – is her fiancé Stanley (Oliver Chris). Thinking him unemployed, Stanley hires Frances who is always looking for a way to get to some food. But serving two guvnors isn’t easy, as Frances soon discovers.

I missed this production when it came to the cinemas and now that National Theatre is offering some of their plays to watch at home, it was the ideal opportunity for me to catch up with this one, since I heard a lot of good things about it. And I have to say, it was a very enjoyable production that definitely made me laugh.

Frances (James Corden) holding out a flower.
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Young Marx

Young Marx
Director: Nicholas Hytner
Writer: Richard Bean, Clive Coleman
Cast: Rory Kinnear, Oliver Chris, Nancy Carroll, Laura Elphinstone, Eben Figueiredo, Nicholas Burns, Tony Jayawardena, Miltos Yerolemou, Duncan Wisbey
Seen on: 7.12.2017

Plot:
Karl Marx (Rory Kinnear) lives with his wife Jenny (Nancy Carroll) and children in poverty in Soho. Karl seems at odds with everyone around him, from creditors to police to his fellow critical thinkers. He doesn’t seem to mind much because, really, Karl is mostly interested in hanging out with his friend Friedrich Engels (Oliver Chris), who helps keeping the creditors at bay, and getting drunk whenever he gets half a chance.

I assume that Young Marx intended to get away from the revered by stuffy image Marx has acquired in the past 150 years, but it only partly succeeds in pushing Marx of his pedestal. And it only partly succeeds as a play.

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