Review: A Damsel in Distress at the Chichester Festival Theatre

A Damsel in Distress. Photo: Joan Persson
A Damsel in Distress. Photo: Joan Persson
Portsmouth Players in rehearsal for The Full Monty

Portsmouth Players dare to bare as they go The Full Monty at The Kings Theatre

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Arguably the modern musical has evolved into something it was never meant to be.

A far cry from a ‘rock opera’ or, indeed, any sort of opera is the joyous throwback to an earlier age, A Damsel In Distress, at Chichester.

A Wodehouse plot with Gershwin songs? Sublime

A wise old punter in the audience accurately described it as ‘delicious silliness’ and I’m more than happy to purloin that phrase in praise of this piece.

A Wodehouse plot with Gershwin songs? Sublime.

The entire principal cast is superb with particularly great work from Richard Dempsey and Melle Stewart – but the ensemble and supporting-work is likewise excellent.

David Roberts and Chloë Hart as Pierre the cook and Dorcas the undercook are a joy and Sam Harrison’s Bungo Strathbungo is a masterpiece of over-the-top comic creation.

Rob Ashford, director and choreographer, draws excellent work from everyone.

And special mention to Christopher Oram’s wonderful design. The multi-purpose revolving set is great and the visual gag at the end of Act One nearly steals the show. Until June 27.