The classic story of the likeable con artist is always going to be a winner. With a combination of great songs, an elegant set design, and classy costumes, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is definitely no exception.
The play is set on the French Riviera. Lawrence Jameson (played by the magnificent Robert Lindsay) is a smooth and sophisticated con man who woos rich, single ladies by posing as a prince, and takes all their wealth. He meets Freddy Benson (the very funny Rufus Hound), a small-time crook, who doesn’t aim as high as Lawrence, but instead is happy to bag a free lunch. Freddy wants to be as talented as Lawrence, and so asks to be educated by him. But when the delightful Christine Colgate (portrayed beautifully by Katherine Kingsley) arrives at the Riviera, the two men become rivals as they battle to win her affection.
The performers were all brilliant. Lindsay oozes with charisma and looks extremely suave dancing on stage as Lawrence. Hound is equally as good as the young con man. I must admit that I was quite surprised at how enjoyable I found his performance. Don’t get me wrong, I think he is hilarious as a stand up, but I just wasn’t sure how the singing and dancing would go down. Turns out, it goes down really well! His comedy and likeability makes his portrayal of Freddy entertaining to watch. He’s brilliant in the “Ruprecht” scene, where he helps Lawrence avoid an unwanted marriage.
David Yazbek has created a set of extremely catchy songs, although my favourite has to be the Oklahoma number. Jolene Oakes (Lizzie Connolly) is wooed by Lawrence, and so wants to marry him and move to Oklahoma. This routine aims to adjust him to the Southern way of life. The song is filled with amazing dancing cowboys and cowgirls, and Connolly is brilliant as Jolene. Her over-exaggerated accent is hilarious, and that combined with her comedic talents had me cracking up throughout this sequence.
There is also a sub-plot to this story, involving the chief of police John Marquez (Andre Thibault) and Samanthat Bond (Muriel Eubanks), a lonely heiress who was tricked by Lawrence. I think the scene between these two characters are very necessary to the play, as they take away from the trickery of the two con men, and focus on romance. Both Thibault and Eubanks are hilarious as the two lovers, and they bring a sense of sexiness to the show. Watch out for some hot lingerie and naughty handcuffs.
I think Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is brilliant. With an amazing lead cast, and an equally talented support cast, whose ensemble work is very exciting to watch on stage, this show is definitely the best choice for a great evening out at the West End.
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