Last night I was invited to The Regent Theatre in Stoke for Press Night of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels The Musical and to say I was excited was an understatement! I absolutely adore the film with Steve Martin and Micheal Cane so myself and my equally DRS obsessed work buddy tootled up to Stoke for a night of belly laughs, bright costumes and hilariously slapstick musical theatre!
For those who haven’t seen the original film, it’s a comedy set in the French town on Beaumont-Sur-Mer where two con artists Laurence Jameson and Freddy Benson are battling it out to scam the lovely ladies of this money-rich town! The two artists set their eyes on a pretty young heiress and decide to make a bet on who can swindle her out of $50,000 dollars first. Hilarity ensues making for two hours of slapstick hearty fun and a real classic film.
I didn’t realise that one of my favourite classic comedies had been turned into a musical until the press release came through – I was instantly excited and anxious at the same time as to how Michael Praed and Noel Sullivan (yes, Noel from Hear’Say – shout out to early noughties pop fever and Myleene Klass’s pink shades) were going to bring Michael Cane and Steve Martin’s characters to life on stage…whilst singing! We took our seats in the Regent Theatre not really knowing what to expect and left with our faces and tummies sore from laughing – what a fabulous show and one everyone needs to go and see…right now!
[otw_shortcode_quote border=”bordered” border_style=”dotted”]We took our seats in the Regent Theatre not really knowing what to expect and left with faces and tummies sore from laughing[/otw_shortcode_quote]
Loud big brass musical numbers left you bopping in your seat and the show started off with a bang and kept you transfixed throughout. The voices in the cast were fantastic and also really clear which is a big thumbs up for me in a musical, especially when the songs are as witty as these. With slick choreographed movements and perfectly rehearsed prop interaction it was a joy to watch and you found yourself looking from side to side all over the stage as bright costumes of the whole cast commanded the space with ease.
You could feel the audience giggle with anticipation as the famous scenes from the film were coming up – and let me reassure you, Rupricht was absolutely fantastic as was Dr Schaffhausen’s inspection of Freddy’s psychosomatic condition! I’ll hold my hands up and say that I was incredibly worried about how Noel Sullivan was going to do Steve Martin’s role justice when I realised he was cast, however I well and truly ate my trilby hat as he completely blew me (and the rest of the audience) away! Noel’s physicality on stage was absolutely perfect and his American accent totally believable, the man can also hold a serious tune too! He was side splittingly hilarious and truly did the role justice, I was left in awe of his talent and rather ashamed I ever doubted him – well done Mr Sullivan.
The characters broke the 4th wall throughout the show making for a really relaxed and light-hearted performance. You could see them trying to make each other laugh and a real enjoyment for the stage shining through which was totally heartwarming to watch. With a few naughty words and references it made for a deliciously tongue-in-cheek performance that received a standing ovation from the crowd when the cast took their bow.
Watch the UK Tour Trailer:
What a fantastic show, one you must see if you’re a fan of the film or just a fan of good old fashion hilarity and fun!
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is playing at The Regent Theatre in Stoke until Saturday 1st August until moving to its next stop on the UK tour in Oxford – you can find tickets from the box office here!
I grabbed two minutes with Noel Sullivan and Carley Stenson to talk favourite numbers and which part of the UK is the funniest!
Carly Stenson as Christine Colgate
Which songs to you look forward to singing each night?
I really look forward to singing here I am!! I can’t wait to get on that stage and it’s such a great opening number with pace and storytelling. I really love singing love is my legs with Noel too! I adore the comedy.
Noel Sullivan as Freddy Benson
Did you love the film when you were younger? Which scenes were you most looking forward to playing?
I did love the film growing up. I was most looking forward to playing Ruprecht.
Do you find the same parts of the show get laughs every night or does it vary by audiences/places on the tour?
Generally the laughs fall in the same place most nights but the noise of the audience’s reaction varies from place to place. It tends to be rowdier north of Birmingham.