Wonderful play, Great actor's, Brilliant storyline. A Hillarious show with some Wonderful character's., especially 'GUSSIE FINK' in my eye's was the Best Character. I was in stitches the whole way through. A very, very Funny play. EXCEPTIONAL
Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense
Duke of York’s Theatre
Until Sat Sep 20
© Francis Loney
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Wed Nov 13 2013
Note: Robert Webb takes over the role of Bertie Wooster and Mark Heap will star as Jeeves from April 7.
The chinless charms of Bertie Wooster are almost a century old now, but in a country run by public schoolboys with the blood of the Bullingdon Club flowing in their veins he feels alarmingly contemporary. None of them, of course, would be caught stealing a policeman’s helmet for high japes these days, nor indeed would they profess themselves to be at the mercy of maiden aunts, yet in a London presided over by Boris Johnson it could be argued we are all living the Wodehouse dream.
Yet it’s not politics that marks this show’s razor-sharp ingenuity, but physical comedy and extremely funny coups de théâtre designed to disarm even the most hardened class warrior. ‘Perfect Nonsense’ is directed by Sean Foley, who just over a decade ago presented the highly successful Morecambe and Wise tribute ‘The Play What I Wrote’. Little coincidence that that too was an extremely successful assembly of inspired silliness, exaggerated physical comedy and knowing theatrical sleights of hand − a showcase for comedy at its purest, whose charms were strongly dependent on the ingenuity of the performers.
As an actor who, among his many achievements, has pretended to give birth on stage, Stephen Mangan has already demonstrated his ability to make the absurd compelling. As Wooster he has the audience in the palm of his hand from the start of the evening. The absurd jutting of the teeth, the constipated horse’s laugh, the what-ho enthusiasm compounded by eyebrows with a life of their own − this is all part of the armoury of his accomplished comic performance.
Jeeves of course is the ultimate straight man, and Matthew Macfadyen plays the role with suitable aplomb. The conceit underlying the evening is that Wooster is telling us the story of a frightful incident involving his old pal Gussie Fink Nottle and his disastrous engagement to the ‘droopy soupy sentimental’ Madeleine Bassett. Newts, cow creamers and, of course, testosterone-fuelled maiden aunts are all part of the comic equation − and the theatrical delight is that Jeeves, Wooster and a butler pal of Jeeves’s called Seppings must perform all the roles themselves.
If you’re not seduced by the combination of Mangan’s goggle- eyed Wooster, Macfadyen’s artfully icy Jeeves and Mark Hadfield’s embodiment of everything from aggressive aunts to overgrown amateur fascists, then you need to check you’ve still got a funnybone. It looks like Foley is in danger of having another hit on his hands.
By Rachel Halliburton
Duke of York’s Theatre 104 St Martin’s Lane
- Event phone:
0844 871 3051
- Event website:
Theatre. West End. Drama
Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense 2014
- Date Time Price information
Mon Mar 1019:30£15-£80. Runs 2hrs 10minBuy tickets Perfect Nonsense
Tue Mar 1119:30£15-£80. Runs 2hrs 10minBuy tickets Perfect Nonsense
Wed Mar 1214:30£15-£80. Runs 2hrs 10minBuy tickets19:30
Thu Mar 1319:30£15-£80. Runs 2hrs 10minBuy tickets Perfect Nonsense
Fri Mar 1419:30£15-£80. Runs 2hrs 10minBuy tickets Perfect Nonsense
Sat Mar 1514:30£15-£80. Runs 2hrs 10minBuy tickets19:30
Mon Mar 1719:30£15-£80. Runs 2hrs 10minBuy tickets Perfect Nonsense
Tue Mar 1819:30£15-£80. Runs 2hrs 10minBuy tickets Perfect Nonsense
Wed Mar 1914:30£15-£80. Runs 2hrs 10minBuy tickets19:30
Thu Mar 2019:30£15-£80. Runs 2hrs 10minBuy tickets Perfect Nonsense
Fri Mar 2119:30£15-£80. Runs 2hrs 10minBuy tickets Perfect Nonsense
Sat Mar 2214:30£15-£80. Runs 2hrs 10minBuy tickets19:30
Mon Mar 2419:30£15-£80. Runs 2hrs 10minBuy tickets Perfect Nonsense
Tue Mar 2519:30£15-£80. Runs 2hrs 10minBuy tickets Perfect Nonsense
Wed Mar 2614:30£15-£80. Runs 2hrs 10minBuy tickets19:30
Thu Mar 2719:30£15-£80. Runs 2hrs 10minBuy tickets Perfect Nonsense
Fri Mar 2819:30£15-£80. Runs 2hrs 10minBuy tickets Perfect Nonsense
Sat Mar 2914:30£15-£80. Runs 2hrs 10minBuy tickets19:30
Mon Mar 3119:30£15-£80. Runs 2hrs 10minBuy tickets Perfect Nonsense
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Average User Rating
4.8 / 5
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I was pleasantly surprised by just how many laughs were to be had from this fast-paced show. It reflected the book very nicely and had no difficulty bringing the characters and dialogue to life. I wasn't sure what to expect, particularly when I learned that the cast consisted of just three actors, all of whom being male. However, this just added to the comedy, and the whole audience were roaring with laughter on many an occasion. The only disappointment for me was finding that Stephen Mangan was not performing the day I went, but I have to say his understudy did a superb job, so full marks to him but I'm planning to go to another performance soon and am looking forward to reliving the experience with Mangan this time in the role of the adorable Bertie Wooster. Clean, silly and perfectly executed, this is a play just about anyone can enjoy as it appeals to so many different senses of humour.
Saw this Monday night and we loved it. Superbly written and acted, it resembles a long version of one the the plays "what Ernie Wise wrote" in the Morecombe and Wise shows. Very fast wardrobe changes, perfectly executed scene changes and wonderful audience interaction. I was concerned it would be a pale imitation of the Fry and Laurie version, but it was fresh, different and totally enthralling. The cast of three could not have done better. Go if you can
Just bought tickets for this play and i am already giving it 5 stars! Haven't seen it yet, but i know i will love it!
Brilliant! So funny. Everyone was laughing - great for kids as well as adults. Don't miss it!! Such a great night out, does Wodehouse proud!
Based on the Jeeves and Wooster story 'Code of the Woosters', Perfect Nonsense sees our odd couple recounting the events at Totleigh Towers through a dramatic production of their own. Whilst Wooster (Mangan) plays himself throughout, both Stephen Macfadyen (Jeeves) and Mark Hadfield take on a host of eccentric characters, bowling along at quite a clip and employing the tried and tested physical trickery of farce. Macfadyen's bravura performance gives a nod to a host of comic icons from Basil Fawlty and Monty Python to Porridge's Mr McKay. The overall result is a Wodehousian treat, although in just its first week at Richmond, the comic timing and audience interaction is not quite top notch yet. This will surely come with performances, and by the time it hits London should be spot on. A bally hit for sure, and look out for the novel curtain call.