A cheeky, sharp, and above all, thoroughly enjoyable evening of theatre.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels was that show: I couldn’t miss the posters, had heard a general good buzz, but there had been nothing up until now that made me go. Until this week, when I was very generously given a ticket (it’s not bad at all, this blogging lark…)
My complacency soon looked foolish – Robert Lindsay is smart and sharp as a dastardly mature con-man, and Rufus Hound was a revelation as his eager apprentice. Hound’s physical theatre was astonishing – in one scene where he pretended to choke, his face went so red that I was convinced that a real-life emergency had commenced on stage.
The acting across the board is great, with a standout West End debut from Lizzy Connolly as Jolene, who steals the stage during her relatively brief turn as the forceful Southern blonde. They are accompanied by a fun set, full of little surprises and an array of musical numbers that are light, comedic and knowing.
However, the element of this show that really blew me away, and should send you running to the box office, was the book. Delivered with fantastic comic timing, I was often caused to guffaw loudly at the arrival of an unexpected punchline. This show doesn’t attempt to change the world or enter musical theatre history as one of the greats, it just wants to give its audience a really good evening. It shuns sentimentality and goes straight for the jugular instead, and is all the better for it. This bunch of con-artists would be more than welcome to persuade me into a second visit. Highly recommended.