The latest team of would-be reviewers from secondary schools in the Harrogate district showed some real talent in their journalistic assignment at Harrogate Theatre.
Their mission, set by the theatre’s education and workshop leader Hannah Draper in the Young Reviewers Scheme with the Harrogate Advertiser Series, was to write their own review of a recent production at the theatre.
What follows is a review of Jeeves and Wooster starring Robert Webb by student Anna Floyd of Ashville College
Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense, Harrogate Theatre
Just three men and one set seamlessly transform the stage into the farcical world of Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense, as they re-enact the absurdity of the previous, chaotic weekend.
With Wooster’s priorities split between matchmaking and the theft of a sought after silver cow creamer, their stay at Totleigh Towers becomes increasingly eventful.
Deadpan butler Jeeves is depended on to hold the production together, supplying props along the way and keeping Wooster in check.
Hilariously improvising all eventualities the trio successfully constructs the scene on the go, ranging from the drawing room to the Turkish baths, a level crossing and, with the help of Seppings, a full scale storm.
Discounting one instance of corpsing- in which Robert Webb (Wooster) and Jason Thorpe (Jeeves) succumb to the audience’s hysteria, simply adding to the authenticity of the performance and causing even louder roars of laughter- the acting is faultless.
Christopher Ryan, mainly as Seppings, certainly achieves the most costume changes and should be commended on portraying, so convincingly, a vast array of genders, ages and personalities in his characters.
Thorpe’s comically straight face is a humorous contrast to the mayhem and, a highlight that cannot go without a mention is his solo performance of an entertaining conversation between Madeline and Watkin Bassett.
His half and half costume has the audience in stiches. Webb maintains remarkable diction throughout his story-telling and brings the necessary energy to successfully carry off P.G. Wodehouse’s iconic character.
All three actors have impeccable timing, bonkers expressions and superb stamina to guarantee you will leave the theatre grinning.
The adaptation of this West End award-winning comedy is extremely inventive and the performance was thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish.
By Anna Floyd