By Daniel Leung
When I first heard of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and saw the trailer for the show I was astounded to see Robert Lindsey, who played Ben Harper in one of my favourite sitcoms the BBC’s My Family. I have wanted to see many musicals for a while, Jersey Boys, Mama Mia, Evita, (hint to anyone who wants to buy me a ticket), and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
The musical written and directed by the Tony Award winning Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde, Hairspray) is based on the 1988 film starring Michael Caine and Steve Martin. The show first opened in Broadway in 2005 making its way to the West End, opening in March last year to packed houses since. I went to see the West End production in the final run last week, starring Robert and Bonnie Langford at the stunning Savoy Theatre.
The show remains as close to the original film as possible, but does have original comedic elements which had the audiences in stitches, with witty and slick humour. The music was wonderfully scored, integrated into the scenes very well and even more essentially, catchy! On the train home from London I immediately purchased the Broadway Cast soundtrack, my favourite song of which is the second number, Great Big Stuff. The strong timing between the performers and the music added to the humour of the musical. Dance numbers were really well choreographed to the music, and helped to illustrate the desires and intentions of the characters.
Read more of the review below the official trailer:
The recognition of the show as a live performance engaging audiences was refreshing- it made it feel like a performance rather than a focus on narrative. However there was a fine balance of humour to narrative to music. The set was designed with great consideration, very adaptable to a variety of scenes with smooth changes, transporting you to a plethora of locations, from hotels, to the French Riviera of Beaumont Sur-Mer or mansions raised from swindles. All the costumes looked very suave and slick, fitting the glitzy nature of the story- it was almost as if the high-profile tailors along The Strand had made them (purely at a guess)!
Without a doubt, the audience, including I, enjoyed the performance of Robert Lindsay, as Lawrence Jameson, a veteran experienced scammer. His persona and charisma worked extremely well with the character he played, gaining the audience’s approval almost as soon as curtains were raised. The show also features Alex Gaumond opposite Lindsay as Freddy Benson, as an American swindler aiding Lawrence in a scam. Katherine Kingsley’s performance as Christine Colgate, the target of Lawrence and Freddy was stunning, able to meet a diverse range of dance numbers. All the cast were spectacular in the show, and it was clear after a year of performing at the Savoy in its first UK stage run that the cast had relaxed and were enjoying performing.
The show definitely is worthwhile for escapism- leaving your own world behind for the world of scamming, swindling and the glamour of gaining wealth. If you want a laugh and need to get away from your work or studies, then this is really the show for you. The opening number is “Giving them what they want”, the show will definitely give you what you want if you want a laugh, great performance and an enjoyable classic musical to watch. Whilst casting has not yet been announced for the tour, the West End production was fantastic, due to a well-written book, the talent of a great cast and superb choreography and stage direction.
The show will be touring this summer, heading to the Empire theatre from the 7th-18th July 2015.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels | Liverpool Empire Theatre
Thursday 7th – 18th July 2015
Mon-Sat Evenings 7.30pm and Wed & Sat Matinees at 2:30pm
Tickets on sale now at £10, £20, £26, £33, £36 visit www.atgtickets.com/liverpool