Review: Jeeves & Wooster in Perfect Nonsense, Lyceum

editorial image
Have your say

This is an evening of frightfully good fun as famous daft toff Bertie Wooster recounts a silly story with the help of his valet, Jeeves, and another butler, Seppings.

The fun involves a silver cow-shaped cream jug that both Bertie’s Uncle Tom and rival collector Sir Watkyn Bassett covet.

Bertie’s Aunt Dahlia bullies him into trying to steal the jug when he goes down to Sir Watkyn’s country pile, Totleigh Towers, for the weekend.

He has been summoned there by his friend, newt fancier Gussie Fink-Nottle, who has incurred the wrath of Sir Watkyn and his best friend, comical fascist group leader Roderick Spode, by asking for the hand of Madeline Bassett.

Other complications include a notebook, a policeman’s helmet, a vicious dog and its determined owner, Stiffie Byng.

There follows the usual comedy of errors beloved of writer PG Wodehouse as Bertie and friends lurch from one crisis to the next and have to be extricated by the cool, level head of Jeeves.

Bertie, played with admirable ease and great comic timing by Peep Show star Robert Webb, engages the audience with a certain brash posh charm as he tells the story.

He knows just how far to take Bertie without going completely over the top.

Jason Thorpe as Jeeves and Christopher Ryan as Seppings have to rush round and move the scenery, do quick changes and play all the supporting characters.

Many of the laughs, which arrive thick and fast, come from this business and the inevitable slip-ups.

Christopher Ryan has some brilliant moments when he has to make lightning changes between Aunt Dahlia and Sir Roderick.

Director Sean Foley has a lot of fun with Ryan, best known as Mike the Cool Guy from the Young Ones, having to improvise to play the gigantic would-be dictator.

Some of Thorpe’s best moments are when he has to play both Madeline and Sir Watkyn in the same scenes.

A lot of laughs whether you are a fan of the classic books or not.