Guest post by David Thomas
Yesterday I went on a wonderful one night holiday to the South of France, just off the Strand in sunny central London, at Beaumont-sur-Mer, the setting for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, the fabulous new musical comedy at the Savoy Theatre.
The show centres on one of the finest comedy duos of modern times (think Laurel and Hardy, Eric and Ernie, Rooney and Van Persie) three-times Olivier-award winner Robert Lindsay and Rufus Hound (last seen in the West End starring in One Man, Two Guvnors).
We, the Opening Night audience, stayed at the finest Hotels and Chateaux, surrounded by sumptuous Art Deco masterpieces, both on stage and off, and the only thing that was missing from the real Super Rich Riviera experience was the Ambre Solaire, gold-plated Ferrari’s and 50 Euro pizzas
As regulars to my blog are aware, I worship the ground that Robert Lindsay soft-shoe-shuffles on, and once again he didn’t disappoint my sky-high expectations as debonair con-man Lawrence Jamieson, the part played by Michael Caine in the film.
In pairing Lindsay with Rufus Hound’s Freddy Benson (the role played by Steve Martin in the film) it’s like the show’s wizardly Director-Choreographer-Producer Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray, Legally Blonde, Kinky Boots)has conjured up the ultimate comedy alchemistry: a high explosive mix of mirth and mayhem where you get the rough with the smooth, the suave with the barking, the sublime with the gawd-blimey-he’s-not-really-going-to-do-that-on-stage-is-he?
And the rest of the cast are quite simply “magnifique,” both individually and ensemble
So I took a bit of French Leave Wednesday Night, and I strongly recommend you treat yourselves to a healthy helping of the same. And with pre-show cocktails at the world famous American Bar of the Savoy Hotel next door, you will be perfectly “in the space” for one of the most fun, and funniest, night’s theatre has to offer. Having met up with Rufus a number of times on the Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ progress to the West End (via Manchester, Aylesbury and Kennington) I wanted to know what the Opening Night experience felt like to him? He paused and thought hard, suspended in that special place in time which is both the finishing line and the starting line: “We’re here now” he replied. “It’s real”.
In France you can build an entire School of Philosophy on a line like that.
And as that great British Philosopher, Michael Caine, once revealed in a line that could be the first article of faith of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels everywhere: “I’ve been rich, and I’ve been poor, and rich is better –not a lot of people know that”.