"the gross and scope of my opinion ..." Hamlet I,1.
Tuesday, June 02, 2015
A DAMSEL IN DISTRESS
on the heels of The Rehearsal next door, another Jeremy Sams show,
with another family pile shrouded at the start, and another outbreak
of amateur theatricals amongst the aristocracy.
time it's his new book [with Robert Hudson] for A Damsel In Distress,
the wickedly pleasurable cocktail of Wodehouse and Gershwin, based
on the Hollywood hit
action switches between the Savoy Theatre and the Marshmortons'
Gloucestershire seat. Kicking off withe a formulaic but hugely
enjoyable Things Are Looking Up: tap line, upright pian, backstage
busy-ness and frocks on rails.
in the City is the show; its author, George [Richard Fleeshman],
seeks a purpose in life, and finds it in the shape of Summer
on the run from her formidable aunt [Isla Blair, excellent].
plot is thin and silly, but is carried triumphantly by a string of
memorable Gershwin numbers – Stiff Upper Lip, with more tap
dancing, one of the best – and uniformly impeccalbe performances.
Barritt as Keggs, the lugubrious butler, given to quoting the Bard,
Nicholas Farrell superb as the Lord of the Manor whose love for his
pigs and his roses is eventually shared by Billie [Sally Ann
Triplett]. And, stealing the scene in a patisserie extravaganza,
David Roberts' delectable French chef.