REVIEW: One Man, Two Guvnors at The Hawth, Crawley

jpco 20-8-14 "One Man, Two guvnors " cast appearing at the Hawth, Crawley (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140818-143348001
jpco 20-8-14 "One Man, Two guvnors " cast appearing at the Hawth, Crawley (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-140818-143348001

Ever since my mum and dad saw One Man, Two Guvnors on the West End, they have been raving about it. They didn’t say too much, just that it was hilarious and we must see it.

So I was delighted to see the national tour was coming to the Hawth.

The show has been the talk of the West End and Broadway since it debuted in 2011 - mainly thanks to James Corden’s much-acclaimed performance. This time round Gavin Spokes takes on the main role of Francis Henshall.

It is a tale of mistaken identities, murder, revenge and love unfolding in 1960s Brighton.

Sacked from his skiffle band, Henshall becomes minder to Roscoe Crabbe. Unknown to him, Roscoe is really Rachel, posing as her dead brother.

He has been killed by her boyfriend Stanley Stubbers and, spotting the chance of an extra meal ticket, Francis takes a job as minder to Stanley too, but must keep his two guvnors apart.

This has all the ingredients of a farce and normally I am not a fan of farce, but this is done so cleverly with note-perfect performances from the whole cast and impeccable comic timing from all involved, it is a rollercoaster ride from start to finish.

Spokes puts in an incredibly physical performance as the loveable chancer Frances which leaves you exhausted just watching. His energy, wit and timing is sensational.

Shaun Williamson is perfect for the role of Charlie ‘the Duck’ Clench while Emma Barton (Dolly), Derek Elroy (Lloyd), Alicia Davies (Francis/Roscoe Crabbe), Patrick Warner (Stanley Stubbers) and Jasmyn Banks (Pauline) all have their moments to shine.

But if it was not for Spokes’ amazing performance, the show could have been stolen by Edward Hancock as the ‘actor’ Alan Dangle. When Spokes was not on stage, he stole every scene.

For once, I am glad I listened to my mum and dad - and I am also glad they did not reveal too much about it.

If you get the chance- or if you just want to learn about identical twins - get a ticket for this show.

It is a must-see.

The show is on at The Hawth until Saturday August 23.

Directed by Nick Hytner and Written by Richard Bean. Based on The Servant of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni, with songs by Grant Olding.

Tickets: Mon-Thur eve & Wed & Sat 2.30pm: £30. Fri & Sat: £32.50.

Discounts Mon-Thur 7.30pm: £27.

The Friday 7.30pm performance will be BSL Interpreted (Signer: Donna Ruane)

The Saturday 2.30pm performance will be Audio Described

The Saturday 7.30pm performance will be captioned by Stagetext