The dizzying highs of One Man, Two Guvnors

Photo by David Cooper
Photo by David Cooper

The hit West End show, One Man, Two Guvnors, has arrived in Vancouver. The updated version of the Italian comedy,The Servant of Two Masters, takes the audience to Brighton and Hove in 1963 where Allan and Pauline are celebrating their engagement. The happy couple are basking in the glow of their new love when their engagement party is loudly interrupted by Francis Henshall (Andrew McNee) who says that Pauline’s former fiancee, Roscoe, is not deceased like everyone thought, but is actually alive and well. Pauline never really wanted to marry Roscoe, it was to be a marriage of convenience or rather, a business arrangement, orchestrated by Pauline’s father. However, now that Roscoe is alive, this may mean that Pauline will have to follow through on her father’s deal. The thing is, it’s not really Roscoe, it’s Roscoe’s twin sister Rachel pretending to be Roscoe. Rachel’s lover, Stanley, whom she loves dearly, killed Roscoe by accident. Rachel wants her and Stanley to flee the country to Australia, but she will need money to do so. Best way to do that? Get Pauline’s dad to give it “Roscoe” since Pauline has clearly reneged on their business arrangement by becoming engage to another man.

Confused? Welcome to Francis’s predicament! Francis is tired and broke, but most of all he’s hungry. He hasn’t eaten since… well, since last night, but that’s basically the same thing as starving and he can’t take much more. Hired by “Roscoe”/Rachel to do “his”/her bidding, Francis is constantly distracted by his desire to find his next meal and because of this, he is constantly messing up the tasks “Roscoe”/Rachel give him. Then, while fantasizing about the fish and chips he wants to eat, Francis meets Stanley and somehow manages to become Stanley’s servant as well. However, Francis can’t let either guvnor know that the other exits. What happens next is mishap after mishap after mishap after mishap. They are hysterical mishaps, but mishaps nonetheless.