The Court Theatre, Bernard Street, Addington, Christchurch

22/11/2014 - 17/01/2015

Production Details

One Man, Two Guvnors

Following sell-out seasons at The Royal National Theatre and in the West End, smash-hit comedy One Man, Two Guvnors is making its South Island debut at The Court Theatre this summer.

One Man, Two Guvnors follows the exploits of absent minded chancer Francis Henshall who, after being fired from his skiffle band, lands himself in the middle of a gangster family feud. Henshall becomes minder to Roscoe Crabbe… but Roscoe is really Rachel, posing as her own dead brother… who’s been killed by her boyfriend Stanley Stubbers. Francis spots the chance for an extra meal ticket and takes a job with one Stanley Stubbers. To prevent discovery Henshall must keep his two guvnors apart. Simple.

One Man, Two Guvnors first opened at The National in May 2011. Following a hugely successful UK tour, the show then opened in the West End at the Adelphi Theatre where it completed a sell-out run. In the Broadway production James Corden as Francis Henshall won the Tony Award for Best Actor. After a second UK tour, One Man, Two Guvnors embarked on an international tour. This acclaimed smash-hit has now been seen by over one million people worldwide and has been hailed as ‘the funniest show on the planet’ by The Daily Mail (UK) and a ‘comic classic’ by The Guardian (UK).

One Man, Two Guvnors is a glorious celebration of British comedy – a unique laugh-out-loud mix of satire, songs, slapstick and glittering one-liners.

Based on The Servant of Two Masters by 18th century Italian Commedia Dell’Arte (improvised comedy) playwright Carlo Goldoni, English playwright Richard Bean sweeps the piece forward into a mid-20th century Brighton setting. When the show opened in London, every newspaper gave One Man, Two Guvnors five stars.

Tom Trevella, fresh from his acclaimed performance as Gary in the première of Stag Weekend, stars as the luckless Francis Henshall. Roy Snow returns to The Court after a short break to play Charlie ‘the duck’ Clench, head of a local Brighton crime family. His daughter Pauline is played by Georgia-Kate Heard. Clench’s friend, an ex-London Jamaican by the name of Lloyd Boateng, is played by Keith Adams.

Juliet Reynolds-Midgley, who was last seen on stage at The Court as Mrs Lyons in Blood Brothers, plays Dolly, one of Clench’s employees who catches the eye of Francis Henshall.

Rachel Crabbe, a feisty young Londoner, is played by Kathleen Burns opposite Jonathan Martin in the role of her boyfriend, the urbane Stanley Stubbers.

Damien Avery, who played the Lord High Executioner in The Mikado, plays wannabe actor Alan Dangle, son of Latin spouting lawyer Harry Dangle played by Phil Grieve.

Rounding off the cast are Adam Brookfield and David Ladderman in unforgettable roles of Gareth and Alfie.

Music plays a big part in One Man, Two Guvnors with a four piece skiffle band especially put together for this production. The all singing cast will perform with Jonathan Martin to make the night feel like one big musical party.

One Man, Two Guvnors
at the Court Theatre, Christchurch
22 November 2014 – 17 January 2015
Show Times:6:30pm Mon & Thu; 7:30pm Tue, Wed, Fri, Sat;
Matinées: 2:00pm Saturday 27 December, 4:00pm Friday 28 December.
Tickets $58-$31.
To Book phone 03 963 087003 963 0870 or visit 


Keith Adams (Lloyd Boateng);
David Ladderman (Alfie);
Kathleen Burns (Rachel Crabbe);
Georgia-Kate Heard (Pauline Clench);
Adam Brookfield (Gareth);
Tom Trevella (Francis Henshall);
Roy Snow (Charlie Clench);
Phil Grieve (Harry Dangle);
Jonathan Martin (Stanley Stubbers);
Damien Avery (Alan Dangle);
Juliet Reynolds-Midgley (Dolly).

Band: Cameron Douglas, Ben Eldridge, Chris Wethey and Tim Sellars

Director - Ross Gumbley;
Musical Director - Luke Di Somma;
Set Design - Julian Southgate;
Costume Design - Stephen Robertson;
Lighting Design - Giles Tanner;
Sound Design - Stephen Compton;
Properties - Anneke Bester;
Stage Manager - Jo Bunce;
Operator - Darren McKane;
Costume Manager - Sarah Douglas;
Workshop Manager - Nigel Kerr;
Production Manager - Mandy Perry.

Show Sponsor: The Press

Promises a season of pure joy

Review by Lindsay Clark 23rd Nov 2014

It is a considerable coup for The Court to be staging this delectable comedy only three years after its hugely popular staging in London and even less time since it was acclaimed in New York. To assemble the talent and teamwork critical for tackling the adapted eighteenth century hit deserves further respect, for its complexity demands serious creative application from all involved. 

Leading the way, director Ross Gumbley and musical director Luke Di Somma shape a resoundingly successful production.

The spirit of the original play lives on through devices which have never lost their charm. The original commedia dell’arte Arleccino figure is the servant in question and hectic physical comedy, improvisation and stock character types are polished up in a sixties Brighton gangster context to ravishing effect. 

There is nothing like a good predicament and the play is built from whole cornucopia of them in an ever-increasing array right from the opening scene, where small-time gangster Charlie Clench and company are celebrating his daughter Pauline’s engagement to Alan Dangle, would-be actor and poet.

The lovers’ joy is made possible because arrangements have fallen through for the union Charlie had arranged with a rival hood, Roscoe Crabbe, to whom he owes a tidy sum. Roscoe, it seems, is dead. But wait, who is this, being announced by his side-kick, a burly bloke who just seems as if he might be a first time minder…? Enter Roscoe, whippet slim and with a dangerous swagger. Look closer, for it is really his twin sister Rachel in disguise, come to collect the money owing and pining for her own lover, upper-crust Stanley Stubbers, who we’ll meet in the next scene, where he also will engage the services of the same ‘minder’ as he holes up to escape justice for killing…. who else but Roscoe Crabbe. And thus the strings operating this glorious assemblage are neatly and precisely fixed. 

The plot develops over the course of one day as the minder fella, Francis Henshall, lately part of a skiffle band but now struggling to keep fed, tries desperately to serve both employers (as well as his own appetites) while keeping them from meeting.

So it is the Harlequinesque figure of Francis whose antics drive the play, fleshing out the clues of diamond-patched floor and screen in Julian Southgate’s clever set. Its sedate eighteenth century terraces, revealing brash sixties living, glide off for the dining room of The Cricketers’ Arms where one of the funniest farcical scenes I have ever enjoyed plays out in brilliant fashion to end the first act and give the audience at least time to recover from its helpless laughter. 

The inimitable Tom Trevella fills the Francis role with precision as well as the gusto demanded by the helter-skelter pace of the piece. At his funniest when most vulnerable and transparent, he crafts a Francis who, like most of us, is just trying to keep his footing in a changeable world subject to the whim of other people.

His two ‘masters’, played by Jonathan Martin (Stanley Stubbers) and Kathleen Burns (Rachel in disguise a Roscoe Crabbe), ensure that his challenges are potently delivered and as the Clench family side of things, Roy Snow(Charlie), Georgia- Kate Heard (Pauline), Damien Avery(Alan Dangle, her true love), Phil Grieve (his barrister dad), Keith Adams (Lloyd Boateng, another shady character) and Juliet Reynolds-Midgley (Dolly, a sure touch of glamour), all present the wider context in full, rumbustious terms.

That leaves the versatile Adam Brookfield to show his splendid resourcefulness as Gareth the boss waiter, a Cab Driver and Policeman, while David Ladderman as a brilliantly geriatric Alfie has some of the funniest exits and entrances in the play. 

Full credit must be paid to the production team. This is made up of Julian Southgate for set design, as mentioned above, Stephen Robertson for richly suggestive costume design, Giles Tanner for very effective lighting design and Stephen Compton for impeccable sound design. 

The skiffle band which welcomes the audience pre-show also supports lively musical interludes which punctuate plot developments. They well deserve a warm audience reception and their zest is infectious. Chris Wethey (bass), Benjamin Eldridge (lead guitar), Cameron Douglas (vocals, guitar) and Tim Sellars (drums, washboard) embody the indefatigable spark which characterises the production. 

Put all this together and as a summer treat, the whole promises a season of pure joy.


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