From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

Almost 300 hundred years ago, Carlo Goldoni, an Italian playwright from Venice, wrote a comedy that has become a comedia dell’arte classic, Il servatore di due padroni, The Servant of Two Masters. That original has stood the test of time so well, it was appropriated by British playwright, Richard Bean who set the play in Brighton, England in 1963 in his adaptation One Man, Two Guvnors.

On Wednesday evening, I had the pleasure of attending the premiere of the Trinity Grammar School Drama Department’s production.

The play’s plot centres on a hapless protagonist, Francis Henschall, played by Tom Jenkins 11Fo, who reprises the role made famous by James Cordon of Carpool Karaoke fame, and who is down on his luck and finds himself working for two guvnors, one of whom, Rachel Crabbe, played by Madeleine Lewis, is disguised as a man, the other, played by Rory Briscoe 11Du who delivers an entirely plausible  performance as a denizen of the British upper class, is the murderer of her brother and her secret lover.

While the twists and turns of the plot have the potential to leave an audience confused, or bemused, the quality of the performance, a hilarious pastiche of slapstick, riotous farce, gags, ad libbing, and the extraordinary dramatic ability and comedic timing of such a young ensemble made it an absolutely fabulous evening out.

And as if the performances of the cast were not enough, they were backed by the Salmon Skifflers fronted by Leo Tarbox 12Du and a Mick Jagger channelling Phillip Manuli 12T. Their performance of Pete Townsend’s, My Generation and Substitute, and Woodie Guthrie’s Gamblin’ Man was worth the price admission.


Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

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