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One Man, Two ‘Guvnors’ and a whole lot of laughs!

October 24, 2016

This year the Drama Society once again put on an absolute ripper of a show: One Man, Two Guvnors. The production was absolutely outstanding, with a hugely talented cast ranging in year levels who came together to do what DRAMSOC does best: make us laugh.

An English play set in Brighton and written by Richard Beam, One Man Two Governors is about a socially naive Englishman Francis Henshall who becomes separately employed as a governor by two men – both of whom pay Francis to do their dirty work. Francis was played by the ever-so-talented sophomore Benny Watt, who reduced the crowd to tears through his humor and wit on countless occasions. Like the rest of the cast, it was clear that Benny had put in some serious hard work in memorizing an unfeasible number of lines and even monologues. Well-done Ben!

Sophomore Billy Chapman not only did an outstanding job at directing the entire play but also brilliantly played one of the main characters Charlie Clench: a gangster who is very tight with his money. Charlie’s daughter Pauline Clench, who cannot be described as anything more than ‘pretty and stupid’, was played by fResher Sarah Wallis. Billy and
Sarah formed a hilarious father-daughter duo and had the crowd in constant stitches. In the play Charlie promises Pauline’s hand in marriage to Roscoe Crabbe, who in fact had died a week earlier but was being impersonated by his twin sister Rachel Crabbe – played by fResher Hannah Steele. Hannah displayed some seriously impressive and diverse acting skills, having to switch between not only genders but also personalities.

Throughout the play Pauline refuses to marry Roscoe for money and insists upon marrying the aspiring thespian Alan, who is always performing. Alan was played by the brilliant
sophomore Nick Jackman, who never fails to amaze us with his drastic performances and superb improvisation. Alan’s father Harry Dangle was played by third-year and talented DRAMSOC veteran Jake Carr. Harry is a witty, Latin-speaker solicitor to the Clenches whose contrast in class to most other Cockney characters provides some hilarious occurrences.

Whilst Rachel runs around impersonating her brother Roscoe, her lover Stanley Stubbers, played by sophomore James Kane, finds plenty of trouble for himself in Brighton. Stanley is a snooty fob who attended boarding school and often makes over-the-line but hilarious sexual references. Another exceptional character was Dolly, Charlie Clench’s bossy, voluptuous and feminist secretary who acts as Francis’s love interest. Dolly was played by sophomore Sam Bear, whose unwavering dramatic talent wholeheartedly shined through – especially with her impeccable Northern English accent!

Much of the play took place in a popular Brighton pub owned by an amusing Jamaican who also happens to be Charlie’s friend from prison -Lloyd Boateng – played exquisitely by fResher Will Hendriks. fResher Francesca Daniel plays the trained headwaiter of the pub Gareth, whose sassy nature always served the crowd a good laugh. Finally, Gareth’s assistant was one of the most subtly entertaining characters of the whole play: Alfie. Alfie is a slow, doddering, 80-something year old waiter played by fResher Tom Galvin, whose constant falls and horrible sense of hearing created some sidesplitting scenes on stage.

One of the most unique and defining aspects of this year’s play was its constant engagement in what is known in the arts as ‘breaking the fourth wall.’ Viewers were often taken into the minds of the characters as they addressed the crowd in their thought and
decision-making processes. The crowd was very involved in the play, especially with Francis who often called upon individual spectators and even brought them up on stage. This degree of interaction made the performance that much more entertaining – you just never knew what was coming!

A huge well-done must go to every single person involved in making this year’s production what it was. This is no small crowd, as in addition to the cast the production also had a hugely talented band, many helpful sound a

nd stage-hands, a few one-line actors, and of course the many people who put in work building the set during mid-semester break. This year’s production can be described in one way only: ‘One Man, Two Guvnors, and a whole lot of laughs!’

  • Hilary Shannon
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