One Man, Two Guvnors pulls out all the stops to give the audience a good time. Directed by Lee Rush, this is a polished production featuring a brilliant lead performance by Keith Eugene Brayne. Brayne displays an appealing manic energy as the lovable British buffoon Francis Henshall, who tumbles and fumbles about as he serves two ‘guvnors’ – Roscoe Crabbe and Stanley Stubbers.
Brayne proved to be a master at physical comedy and enjoyed a bit of interaction with an audience member who was brought on stage and subjected to some physical humiliations. There was a lot of “breaking the fourth wall” in this show, with Francis providing commentary about the story and soliciting feedback from the audience.
Danielle Conti had some terrific moments as the dimwitted Pauline, who is engaged to self-absorbed actor Alan (Hassan Demartino). Alyson Fowler was effectively stern as Roscoe Crabbe, who turns out to be (spoiler alert!) his sister Rachel in disguise. Tom Steenburg provided a lot of sinister charm as Stubbers, who romances Crabbe. I also enjoyed Erica Strickland as the no-nonsense Dolly, Francis’ object of affection. Special mention must be given to Michael Thurber as the daffy Alfie, an elderly hearing impaired waiter with a pacemaker. Thurber generated a lot of laughter in an extended sequence as Alfie struggles to use a corkscrew. It was a masterpiece of comic timing. The jokes can be a bit bawdy at times. For example, Francis finds a creative way to hang his hat.
All of this was very entertaining, yet One Man, Two Guvnors runs a bit long at two and a half hours. The show threatens to wear out its welcome after a while. Still, this is worth seeing for the inspired madness expertly performed by a talented ensemble.
One Man, Two Guvnors runs through September 3. Granite Theatre, Westerly. granitetheatre.com