One Man, Two Guvnors was the most deliciously ridiculous play that I’ve seen since maybe Little Dog Laughed. James Corden has some stiff competition for the TONY Award he’s up for but I’d say he’s a worthy contender, absolutely.
OMTG is about a man who takes on two jobs, thus the two governors, without telling either one of them, and hilarity ensues. This is classic absurdist, slapstick British comedy at it’s finest. The fourth wall is collapsed on the audiences head as soon as the curtain rises. There’s even audience participation from time to time.
To say that OMTG flies by is a lie – it doesn’t. It feels a bit long at times but you don’t actually mind because you’re laughing too hard to check your watch.
James Corden, who originated his role at the National Theatre, is a comedic king. The scripted bits of audience participation are delivered genuinely and you’d never know he did these bits every day. He’s not a small man by any means, but his role is incredibly physically demanding and he pulls it off with ease. The rest of the cast is brilliant as well, but none of them stood out as much as Mr. Corden.
A unique aspect of this show is the live band, known as The Craze, that plays before the show, during scene changes, and at intermission. I can see why the score to this straight play was nominated for Best Score now. Every song they play is, obviously, original and it’s actually quite fun. Does it carry the plot forward? No, but it’s also not meant to. The members are also insanely talented, including Jason Rabinowitz, Austin Moorehead, Charlie Rosen, and Jacob Colin Cohen.
I could go on and on about how brilliantly funny and entertaining One Man, Two Guvnors is but it’s probably best if you go see it yourself.