REVIEW: One Man, Two Guvnors, Barn Theatre, Southwick

Mark Best in the lead role of Francis in Wick Theatre Company's One Man, Two Guvnors
Mark Best in the lead role of Francis in Wick Theatre Company's One Man, Two Guvnors

The words ‘one of the best things I have seen for some time’ rang out from all corners as the audience left The Barn Theatre in Southwick last night.

Wick Theatre Company’s production of One Man Two Guvnors had gone down a storm with the capacity audience on opening night.

Central to the hilarity was Mark Best, in the lead role of Francis Henshall, the man who does indeed have to ‘guvnors’.

Among his many crazy antics, his one-man fight scene was something to behold. It is very difficult to have a full-on fight with yourself and make it look convincing but Mark managed it – and for quite some minutes.

He engaged with the audience through various asides and even pulled up people from the front rows to take part in the action.

Mark was backed up by a number of great character performances.

Anna Steddon was fantastic as Dolly, lovely and clear in her speech and relaxed in her movements.

Rose Hall-Smith gave us a great contrast as Pauline ‘I don’t understand’ Clench. The two ladies worked really well together.

The other main female in the cast spent most of the play ‘disguised’ as a man. Charlotte Miller, playing Rachel Crabbe, was making her debut at The Barn Theatre – and what a debut! It was another assured performance and it was nice to see her in a lovely dress at the end, having spent the rest of the play drowning in a suit that was way too big for her.

Among the men, Maurice Humphrys was hilarious as Alan Dangle, the would-be actor, over-egging the performance to perfection.

Mathew Arnold was another of my favourites, getting many of the laughs as Stanley Stubbers, not least with his glow-in-the-dark moment!

There were a few first-night slip ups with the script but the comedy flowed and as it was all a bit of a hectic, crazy piece, it did not really matter. In any case, the seats are filled every night of the run so it is a real winner for the Wick.

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