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Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Review

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is currently playing at the Savoy Theatre and is based on the hit comedy film starring Sir Michael Caine. Set on the French Riviera, we follow the story of two con men that compete for a bet to swindle a millionaire soap heiress.

I get excited about going to the theatre when a) I’m about to see a show I already know off by heart and therefore I know I’m going to love it, and b) when I know absolutely nothing about the show I’m about to see other than it involves an absolute stellar cast. Last night’s show was certainly the latter, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a huge farcical musical led by three time Olivier and Tony award winner Robert Lindsay and comedy legend Rufus Hound. I was particularly impressed with their onstage partnership as they both commanded the stage with such a warm, charismatic and playful energy. So much so that at times they did corpse, but this made their characters seem even more endearing and one of the aspects of this show that was particularly unique was their direct relationship with the audience. Throughout the whole show it felt that the audience were in on all of their jokes and were discovering and uncurling the plot alongside them both. It was superbly directed that way, as the pair of them had the audience eating out of the palm of their hand and we so wanted them both to succeed despite the fact that they were conning the rather goofy and clumsy Christine (played by the beautiful soprano Kathryn Kingsley).

Samantha Bond is probably one of my favourite TV actresses, particularly as “Aunt Rosamund” in Downton Abbey, so I had high expectations from her performance. She certainly is a fabulous actress and brought great humour to the show, confident vocals and even a dance routine or two. I have to admit I found her a bit wooden and lacking in ‘spark’ during her movement sequences, but I later read that this was her first musical theatre show so perhaps dance classes haven’t been top of her list of priorities in the past. She wasn’t heavily featured in the show, but provided us with a cheeky side story so there was no question that the audience would ever lose interest with such a lot of action taking place, twist after twist.

This show provided a fantastic evening’s entertainment, with a strong ensemble delivering brilliant choreography, upbeat numbers and constant humour throughout both acts. It’s not an absolute must see as there isn’t any content that is particularly thought provoking or revolutionary, but for a chilled out evening to escape the busy lives we lead, this show won’t let you down. I award it with a generous 4 stars and urge you to see it with this current star-led cast as I feel that they really make the show the extravaganza that it is.

I can only speak for myself of course, but the fact that they received an impressive standing ovation on a Monday night pretty much says it all!

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