(Seen at the preview performance on 6th November 2013)
Despatch your manservant at once the box office, for this is the jolliest
Yuletide jape of the season.
Its quintessentially British strength lies not in what is said, but how it is
done. There’s very little sense of pace in The Goodale Brothers’ script; a
(slow-burning) beginning, a suitably “tongue in cheek” cliff-hanger act one
conclusion, and a particularly Wodehousian ending - but it’s mostly played on a
single note. This is a measured recollection that in itself doesn’t warrant a
...It takes the inspired direction of Sean Foley,
working with the brilliant Mark Hadfield, Matthew Macfadyen and Stephen Mangan
to find the physical comedy within, bringing the entire evening to hugely
To speak of the set-pieces, tiny details and spirited ad-libs
would be to ruin the enjoyment of those reading, so the monkey will simply say
that all are present and that the trio – Hadfield in particular – strike awe
into those who appreciate the art of comedy. Macfadyen’s Jeeves provides the
strong pillar by which the evening is supported, while Mangan’s knack of
engaging the audience yet remaining firmly ‘in character’ proves a great asset.
Not for those seeking a high technology thrill, but for anyone who believes in
crumpets for tea, that moderation in excess is acceptable occasionally, and that
there is more to life than crude and immediate gratification – this is a highly
enjoyable night out.