Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Carley Stenson in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Picture: Alastair Muir
Carley Stenson in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Picture: Alastair Muir
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Based on a 1988 film starring Michael Caine and Steve Martin, the cast of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels has big shoes to fill when the musical adaptation comes to the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton on Tuesday.

It tells the tale of two rival con artists on the French Riviera, Lawrence Jameson (Michael Praed) and Freddy Benson (Noel Sullivan), who decide that the town ain’t big enough for the both of them.

They make a deal: the first to get $50,000 out of a woman gets to stay while the other has to sculk off into the sunset.

The woman in question turns out to be American soap heiress Christine Colgate, played in this production by Carley Stenson of Hollyoaks fame.

Carley says it was the strength of the script that attracted her to the show.

‘I just love the story – I saw the film first and adored it so it was already a firm favourite of mine before I saw the musical. With this version you get some great songs which are a lot of fun to sing.’

One such number is a song called Love Is My Legs, which Carley describes as a ‘mickey-take ’80s ballad’.

Her opening song, called Here I Am, is a challenge to sing.

‘Considering I haven’t been doing anything for 30 minutes, I then come out and do this four-minute belter. It was hard at first but it’s in my body now – even though I have to hold these challenging notes, I’ve been doing it enough times that it’s fine.’

She adds that the highlight of the show is working with her co-stars.

I saw the film first and adored it so it was already a firm favourite of mine before I saw the musical

Carley Stenson

‘The best bit is that my character gets to watch Michael and Noel do their thing!’

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is at Mayflower Theatre, Southampton from November 24-28. Visit mayflower.org.uk.