In 1988, Sir Michael Caine and Steve Martin turned rogue for the silver screen as they stepped into the shoes of schmoozing conmen Lawrence Jameson and Freddy Benson, fiddling the filthy rich of the sparkling Beaumont-sur-Mer. And now the rascals of the Riviera are back, on the West End this time, taken on by ‘My Family’ star Robert Lindsay and seasoned star of the stage, Alex Gaumond.
Perfectly situated in the ode to glamour that is the Savoy Theatre, the pair of scalliwags worm their way through the pockets of the wealthiest heiresses of Beaumont-sur-Mer, only to quickly realise there isn’t room for both them in this playground of decadence. And so the head-to-head race to win the jackpot con is set between them, leaving us to enjoy the hilarious mishaps and surprising plot twists that inevitably ensue.
Composer and lyricist David Yazbeck, who also created the score for West End hit, The Full Monty, gives ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’ show-stopping tunes as sparkling as the diamonds Lawrence and Freddy are out to pinch.
Vibrant and packed with energy all the way though (a tough call for a show that clocks in at a rather long 2 hours 35 minutes!), the show glitters with an old-school Hollywood charm and glitz throughout.
For those of us more familiar with seeing him in his Ben Harper persona, Robert Lindsay delivers a surprisingly different performance as Lawrence, full of a Frank Sinatra kind of chutzpa and this easy-going, slippery charm you can’t help but warm to. Almost unwittingly witty, he certainly offers some of the funniest lines of the evening.
Bonnie Langford also comes close with some wonderful one-liners and a fabulously energetic performance she brings out scene after scene.
A word of the warning about the humour though: it can turn a little blue at times with the odd swear word so might not suit everybody’s comedy palette. But for the most part, the combination of giggle-worthy scalliwaggery and toe-tapping tunes leaves you exiting the theatre humming down the Strand with a great big grin.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is now booking up to March 2015.
The Savoy Theatre, London West End.
Book online or by calling 0844 871 7627.
Ticket prices: £24.50 - £67.50 (group rates available)
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