Based on the hugely popular film starring Micael Caine and Steve Martin, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels certainly works better on stage rather than on the big screen if this production is anything to judge by.
Slick, stylish and brilliantly hilarious, this story of two conmen, Lawrence (Michael Praed) and Freddy (Noel Sullivan) who bet each other that they can’t con a certain wealthy Christine Colgate (Carley Stenson) out of a large amount of money.
From start to finish, the production oozes with sophistication thanks to the wonderful set and costumes that add to the glamorous feel of the production. Directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell, every scene is as equally as memorable as the next.
Particular highlights include the number ‘Oklahoma’ performed with fantastic energy and enthusiasm by Phoebe Coupe as Jolene Oakes and ‘All About Ruprecht’ – with scenes such as these this musical shows how to make a hilarious show but still having class at the same time.
A lot of the success of the touring production is down to the fantastic performances from the leading characters. Michael Praed as Lawrence has definite charm and hint of arrogance that instantly makes him a likeable character with a great singing voice. Noel Sullivan as Freddy, make come across as slightly vulgar in places, yet his character still has a great personality about him that makes the audience warm to him.
Meanwhile Carley Stenson as Christine has great charisma and is certainly a force to be reckoned with, more than capable of keeping up with the boys on either side of her. Gary Wilmor as Andre is certainly a performance to look out for – he provides great support to the other actors but more than capable of making sure that his character isn’t overshadowed by the other cast. He also provides some of the best comedy moments of the show – including chasing Muriel around with a bottle of champagne.
Sadly, the one performance that didn’t feel as up to scratch as the others was Geraldine Fitzgerald as Muriel. Her singing voice didn’t sounded slightly weak in places and she doesn’t have enough time on stage to really make her character come to life.
The only other thing that perhaps lets the show down is the music. While it is fun and adds plenty to the show when you are watching it, it isn’t particularly catchy or memorable to sing outside the theatre. One exception to this is ‘Give Them What They Want’, that has plenty of rhythm and memorable lyrics that leaves you on a high.
But overall, that shouldn’t put you off from catching this show while you can at the New Victoria Theatre as it has plenty of fun and spirit that will keep you entertained from beginning to end!
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is on at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking until Saturday the 31st October.