Savoy Theatre, London
Every bit as filthy as its title, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is still stealing London’s heart; and now it welcomes a cast full of new faces.
Under the bold and brassy direction and choreography of Jerry Mitchell, the show follows the lives of two conmen as their attempt to pull off one of their biggest cons to-date and set a prize that not even the richest in the world could afford; the love of a woman.
Lead by veteran performer and TV favourite Robert Lindsay (Lawrence Jameson), his charm and energy is a delight. With great swagger and flamboyant arrogance exhumed throughout, you can’t help but adore everything he does. Lindsay knows exactly what an audience wants, and he delivers on every occasion. His side-glances, smirk and audience connection making him ever much a delight from start to end.
Alex Gaumond (Freddy Benson), replacing Rufus Hound, has joined and settled perfectly. His ability to bring excellent comedy timing, matching Lindsay brilliantly, yet keeping the relaxed and simpler element of Benson, is a joy to watch. As young and foolish in theft as he is in love, his comic timing matched by his superb vocal talent; his big number ‘Great Big Stuff’ a real standout. Joining a cast in a role based so much on comedy timing, including hat throwing and catching, which is never easy, yet Gaumond handles it all within his stride.
Bonnie Langford (Muriel Eubanks) also joins with this new cast. Her ability to bring so much light and heart to everything she does, alongside great vocal talent, and some hilarious little pockets of wonder. Her turn in act two, after a wild night of passion, a real highlight. Gary Wilmot (Andre Thibault) joining with his experience and wealth of stage knowledge shining throughout. His comic timing even occasionally pushing a little stumble of laugher from Lindsay.
Alongside Langford, the pair are a real delight and bring a wealth of experience and class to a show full of thieves.
Lizzy Connolly stays with the show as cowgirl Jolene Oakes. Her rendition of ‘Oklahoma’ supported by this excellent ensemble.
However, the show belongs to one lady; Katherine Kingsley (Christine Colgate). Her wonderful comic timing, great look and phenomenal vocal ability every much the icing on an already great collection of talent. Her big number ‘Here I Am’ a standout. It is wonderful to see this male-lead piece matched in talent by such a strong performer; Kingsley steals the show and is ever the leading lady.
With music and lyrics by David Yazbek, written by Jeffrey Lane and set design from Peter McKintosh, this is a show full of elaborate moving scenic design and a costume catalogue of exquisite sex appeal and charm, you can’t help but be drawn in to this world of con. Jerry Mitchell’s divine ability to turn even a story of theft and lies into laugh-out-loud fun is a credit to his genius work. Supported by an ensemble of young, energetic talent, the French Riviera has never felt so bad yet looked so well. You even find yourself on regular occasions beaming with joy and laugher. This all-American musical has had great success and appeal to London audiences and no doubt will continue with this wonderful injection of energy from its new cast and onwards when its first UK tour launches later in 2015. An excellent welcome from this new energetic and fresh cast and long may it continue.
Buy a ticket, grab a ticket, and even steal a ticket in true Scoundrels style.
GayTimes gives Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – 4/5
Ticket details can be found online at scoundrelswestend.com