“One Man, Two Guvnors” provides delightful, hilarious entertainment


[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]— Courtesy of Alexander Weisman
“One Man, Two Guvnors” is a hilarious story of a man in the dilemma of serving two masters in 1963 England.
Francis Henshall, played by Christopher DuVal, becomes entangled in a web of deceit when his former master, who was believed to be dead, returns to Brighton, England. It turns out Henshall’s master, Roscoe Crabbe, actually was dead, and his twin sister, Rachel Crabbe, was pretending to be her twin brother in order to collect a debt owed to him. As Rachel Crabbe’s employee, Henshall’s tasks ranged from serving Crabbe’s dinner to getting her mail from the post office.
Unaware that Roscoe Crabbe is actually Rachael Crabbe in disguise, Henshall performs his tasks to the best of his ability until high-class criminal Stanley Stubbers arrives in Brighton seeking an employee as well. It turns out that Rachel and Stanley were lovers, but neither of them knew the other was in Brighton.
Because Crabbe doesn’t pay Henshall until the end of each week, he is driven by hunger and thirst for much of the week until he receives his salary. In a chance encounter, Stubbers promised to pay Henshall daily rather than at the end of each week. Driven by his uncontrollable hunger, Henshall agrees to also be an employee of Stubbers. The first act of this play is centered on his struggle to serve both Stubbers and Crabbe, while keeping his employment by two masters a secret. All the while, Rachel, disguised as her twin brother, is arranged to marry Pauline. Drama unfolds as Pauline goes against her father’s arranged marriage in order to be with the amateur actor Alan, whom she loves.
Henshall was a hilarious character to behold as he ran back and forth in an attempt to complete the tasks assigned by both of his employers. In the second half of the play, Henshall was no longer hungry, so the new motivator for his actions became love. He had fallen in love with Dolly, a book-keeper in Brighton. He was too shy to relay his feelings to her directly, so he pretended to be someone else in order to win her heart. Dolly also had feelings for Henshall, but she wanted him to be direct and open with his feelings towards her. In the end, love prevailed as Henshall won the heart of Dolly, Pauline was allowed to be with Alan, and Rachel was reunited with her lover Stanley.
“One Man, Two Guvnors” was captivating, animated, hilarious and a superbly directed play. It appealed to a wide audience, from young adults to the elderly. It contained subtle sexual references that appealed to its adult audience without being inappropriate. The actors and actresses mastered the portrayal of their characters, from their effortless British accents to their subtle mannerisms. They engaged the audience members throughout the show by pausing mid-performance to make sly comments, or by calling audience-members to the stage to participate in the play. The actors’ humor was effortless and natural and didn’t seem forced. One couldn’t help but laugh at the very presence of the actors and actresses. To keep the audience members entertained during set changes, a groovy band known as “The Craze” would sing and play instruments.
“One Man, Two Guvnors” is a play that satisfies the need for laughter and a good time. In all, it was a spectacular masterpiece and a work of art to remember.
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