Review: One Man, Two Guvnors The Mayflower, Southampton

Sir Bruce Forsyth has died aged 89

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A word of warning if you go to see One Man, Two Guvnors – you’ll laugh so much it hurts.

The National Theatre’s award-winning comedy has arrived on the south coast until Saturday. And with gags aplenty in this riotous blast, it’s easy to see why Richard Bean’s take on Carlo Goldoni’s The Servant of Two Masters has been such a huge stage success.

Set in the 1960s, this is British comedy at its best – a witty script, fast-paced storyline and superb acting, with toe-tapping music to boot from skiffle band The Craze.

The chaotic plot centres on Francis Henshall – played by Gavin Spokes, who steals the show partly thanks to his superb audience interaction.

Fuelled by his crave for a decent meal and, later, the attention of Horndean’s very own Emma Barton – playing the part of Dolly – Francis is forced to deal with the demands of working for two different bosses.

Cue much hilarity and plenty of slapstick, with other notable performances from Patrick Warner as posh toff Stanley Stubbers and Michael Dylan’s OAP waiter Alfie.

The second half of the show does not quite meet the faultless standards of the first. But that is the only criticism of a production that is hard to beat for top-class entertainment.

Do not miss it.

– HOWARD FROST