A joyous production
Published in: Spectator
On Tuesday evening, I went to the first night of Richard Bean’s new play at London’s National Theatre, One Man, Two Guvnors. It fully deserves the rave reviews it has received (see here, here and here): it is pure joy. Based on Carlo Goldoni’s Commedia dell'Arte farce The Servant of Two Masters, it is a glorious fusion of physical slapstick, verbal wit and magnificent performances -- and brilliant direction by Nicholas Hytner.
I have written about Richard Bean before. He is that rarest of rare creatures, a fully paid-up member of the artistic world who (maybe because of his previous life as an occupational psychologist) is a courageous independent thinker. It was he who, having been attacked by the usual lobotomised pc crowd over his multicultural play England People Very Nice, then chose to take on the received wisdom on man-made global warming in The Heretic.
In all these plays, Bean shows a sharp satiric wit and a merciless eye for the pretentious absurdities of human behaviour.