Thursday, 12 July 2012

National Theatre Live

Last weekend I went to the Nova Cinema in Carlton, Melbourne with a group of friends to see a screening of the play 'One Man, Two Guvnors'. England's National Theatre have introduced a new way for people to view their productions, by streaming them live into cinemas around the world. This was actually a repeat of a previously broadcast performance. But whether it is live or recorded, the idea of showing these productions is a wonderful way for more people to view the shows, particularly with their original casts. The screening of ‘Guvnors’ follows the National’s previous success with screening the play ‘Frankenstein’, which I am yet to see.

‘Guvnors’ is an absolutely, outrageously hilarious resetting of a sixteenth century play in the 1960s, complete with musical interludes. It is easily one of the funniest experiences I have ever witnessed. One of my friends said she was watching two shows: one on the screen, the other me crying with laughter.

In ‘Guvnors’, James Cordon in the lead takes a legendary comic turn as the put-upon man looking after two ‘guvnors’ (bosses).  The entire cast was superb. Of particular note, though, were: Oliver Chris as ‘Stanley’, the private school educated toff; Daniel Rigby as ‘Alan’, the actor; and, Tom Edden as ‘Alfie’, the bumbling waiter. The latter stayed in character even for the bows, which left us laughing right until the final curtain.

‘Guvnors’, while still running in London’s West End, has since transferred to Broadway, with several members of the original English cast production. Indeed, James Corden recently won a Tony award for best actor for this play. There is so much to recommend in ‘Guvnors’. Really, if you don’t enjoy it then you must be without a funny bone in your body!

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