Jeeves and Wooster: A Perfect Nonsense

On Friday night the boyfriend and I went to Harrogate theatre to see Jeeves and Wooster: A Perfect Nonsense (based on the P G Woodhouse play) starring Robert Webb, Jason Thorpe and Christopher Ryan.

Harrogate theatre itself is really quite beautiful on the inside, very Victorian looking with fancy bits of gold everywhere, and actually enough space to sit rather than the crammed in modern ones you sometimes get.

The show was absolutely fantastic, a very silly, laugh out loud comedy. Jeeves and Wooster is just so cheerful and daft it’s hard not to like it. Robert Webb was brilliant as Bertie Wooster and really played to his strengths of slapstick, physical comedy which surprisingly worked better than expected.

It opens with Wooster talking to the audience and telling them the story of a recent escapade, and he recruits Jeeves and another butler (Seppings) to help him re enact it. He tells the story of a weekend at Totleigh Towers where he is called upon by his best friend Gussie to save his engagement with Madeline, but also to steal a silver cow creamer for his uncle Tom from Madeline’s father, Watkins. Along the way, he also ends up being threatened by Roderick Spode, a mini Hitler figure, and cousin Stephanie, getting him so tangled up I plotting that only Jeeves can rescue him from looking a complete fool…. but maybe not so successfully as it is the character of Bertie Wooster we’re talking about!

There are only three actors so they gradually have to take on more and more improvised roles, including the girls, in order to tell the story, often ending up having conversations with themselves and getting stuck in the wrong costume. The set grows before your eyes, and the sound effects they have to create themselves are so deliberately bad it just adds to the funnines of it all.

I really enjoyed it, it was a light hearted way to finish the week and a quick sandwich at Betty’s beforehand topped off the evening nicely. We will definitely be going to the theatre more often- we’ve already penciled in dates for the Moscow La Classique Ballet and Henning Wehn next month, so have something else to look forward to!

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