Stage to Screen One Man Two Guvnors

Nov 10, 2019

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One Man, Two Guvnors is a play by Richard Bean, an English adaptation of Servant of Two Masters a 1743 Commedia dell'arte style comedy play by the Italian playwright Carlo Goldoni.

One Man, Two Guvnors is a fast- paced, hilarious farce, accompanied by skiffle band ‘The Craze’ that follows the mixed fortunes of Francis Henshall. Down on his luck and eternally hungry, Francis suddenly finds himself employed by two bosses. His first guvnor is Roscoe Crabbe, a esteemed London gangster who has, apparently, come to Brighton to claim money owed to him by his fiancée's father, Charlie Clench. However it soon becomes clear that Roscoe is, in fact, his twin sister Rachel Crabbe in disguise. Roscoe was killed by Rachel’s boyfriend, Stanley Stubbers, and she wants the money to flee the country with Stanley. Unfortunately for Francis, his second boss is Stanley, who does not know that Rachel is in Brighton. Stanley is hiding from t he police, waiting to be reunited with Rachel. To prevent discovery and earn money from both guvnors, Francis must keep Rachel and Stanley apart.

To aid him in his quest, Francis enlists help from the audience and frequently brings unsuspecting audience members up on to the stage to do his job for him. Meanwhile, Roscoe’s fiancée and Charlie’s daughter, Pauline Clench, must keep Rachel’s disguise a secret, risking her own future happiness with wannabe actor, Alan Dangle.

As Francis’s world plunges into further mayhem and confusion, his attempts to woo Dolly, Charlie’s bookkeeper, go awry and he must prove to her that he is a good, honest man. Believing Stanley to be dead, Rachel finally ditches her disguise but she is soon reunited with her lover. Normality is eventually restored as Francis plans to take Dolly on holiday to Majorca, Pauline and Alan are reunited, and Rachel and Stanley decide to marry and turn themselves in to the police. One Man, Two Guvnors is a rollicking farce, which often breaks the fourth wall, as Francis enlists the aid of willing and unwilling audience members in his quest to serve two masters and finally get a good meal. Run time is 2 hours 30 minutes.

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