Dirty Rotten Scoundrels to run at the Savoy
The London theatre press was treated to an unusual work-in-progress presentation of the upcoming West End premiere of 2005’s Broadway smash Dirty Rotten Scoundrels on Thursday morning. Guests were brought into the rehearsal rooms in quiet, suburban Kennington where we were shown four of the musical comedy’s many song and dance numbers, each presented by the show’s director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell.
The musical is based on the 1988 caper movie of the same name – starring Michael Caine and Steve Martin – about two con-artists who compete in trying to dupe, then seduce, heiress Christine Colgate. Michael Caine’s sophisticated swindler Lawrence Jameson will be interpreted by Robert Lindsay (My Family) who, along with actor John Marquez in the role of Jameson’s corrupted policeman sidekick Andre Thibault, performed opening song Give ‘Em What They Want with flair – despite the lack of costumes and sets. Stepping into Steve Martin’s shoes as rough around the edges American hustler Freddy Benson is comedian Rufus Hound, who seemed to be relishing every moment as he cavorted around the stage with the dancers in a rendition of Great Big Stuff. The press were also treated to performances of Like Zis Like That, the droll romantic duet sung between Thibault and Muriel Eubanks – a wealthy woman looking for love – played by Samantha Bond (Downton Abbey), and Here I Am, the initial song sung by Christine, energetically performed by Olivier nominee Katherine Kingsley.
The show, with toe-tapping music and lyrics by Drama Desk Award-winner David Yazbek (The Full Monty) and book by Golden Globe winner Jeffrey Lane (Mad About You) , is directed by veteran stage director and dancer Jeffrey Mitchell, noted for his work as director and choreographer on the stage versions of Legally Blond, Hairspray and Kinky Boots, the latter earning him a Tony. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is the debut show from Jerry Mitchell Productions, and has been re-imagined for UK audiences. Despite this, the new version would seem to retain much of the original Broadway glamour, judging from the extravagant choreography as seen during the brief presentation, and colourful costumes by Olivier winner Peter McKintosh, glimpsed in costume designs pinned to the walls for journalists to see.
The show will play from the 12th-22nd February at Manchester Opera House, then at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre (26th February–1st March), before its grand premiere at the Savoy Theatre on the 10th March 2014.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels will be at the Savoy Theatre from 10th March 2014, for further information or to book visit here.