The big ticket: Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense (Duke of York’s, London)


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The Independent Culture

What is it? A stage version of P G Wodehouse’s 1938 novel, Code of the Woosters. Stephen Mangan stars at Bertie Wooster, while Matthew Macfadyen is his man Jeeves, and Mark Hadfield is servant Seppings.

The Independent says: “The conceit in Perfect Nonsense … is that, egged on by a friend, Bertie has hired a West End theatre in order to perform a one-man show about a disastrous weekend at Totleigh Towers …. The nudge-nudge pretence of chaotic amateurism in Sean Foley’s knockabout production (the bicycle-powered revolve, say) can get a bit tiresome. But Macfadyen and Hadfield turn in tours de force of inspired silliness and versatility. And I don’t see how Mangan, with his honking toff’s laugh and his lovely aura of benign dimness and noblesse oblige, could be bettered as Bertie. By and large, top-hole.”

They say: Daily Mail: “Watching it on stage, you realise that Wodehouse wrote natural farce. Repeatedly, Bertie shuts the door on one set of troubles, slumps against the wall in relief – only to find himself staring at another looming calamity. What makes the show better than many Wodehouse adaptations is that much of the author’s original words are used.”

What’s on Stage: “The show’s brilliant joke is that the implacable Jeeves, whose interventions are only implied at leisure in the original, is translated into a quick-change artist in the cause of smoothing out the creases, and the crises, in the story … probably errs on the side of too much scenic and stage-effects business [but] it seems churlish to complain about a show that is so fertile and generous in its presentation, and so spiritedly performed.”

You say: @runningmum: “This play really is fabulous … nearly fell out of my seat laughing”

@dreadpiratedrew: “I saw Jeeves and Wooster tonight and now I’m weirdly attracted to Matthew Macfadyen in a dress?”

The details: to 8 Mar;