Ahilarious, interactive tale of a man in 1960’s London on the search for love (and food, in the case of Act I) who gets caught in the affairs of not one but two “governors” as well as all sorts of other hijinks? That just scratches the surface of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s newest play, “One Man, Two Guvnors.”
Produced by the TAMUCC Department of Theatre and Dance and directed by Meredith Melville, “One Man, Two Guvnors” was performed in the Warren Theatre from April 17-22. And while the performance was done in 2018, the play itself takes place in 1963’s Brighton, England.
The show follows Francis (Austin Brady), a man of base desires and little intelligence, as he takes on the role of serving two separate governors who aren’t actually governors and are “separate” in respect to their relationship to each other, as the audience starts to unravel throughout the show.
While Francis provides laughs for the crowd as he searches for a sandwich and fawns over Dolly (Malena Collom), an early feminist with questionable standards, the main plot of two fugitives running away from the murder of Roscoe Crabbe, a high-profile homosexual with an anger streak, keeps the crowd interested and mentally engaged throughout the show.
One of the biggest conflicts in the show is that Roscoe appears at the engagement party of his formally betrothed, Pauline Clench (Sierra Priest), who he arranged to marry for appearances with the help of Pauline’s dad, Charlie “The Duck” Clench (Jacob Salazar).
The thing is, Roscoe’s dead; instead, Roscoe’s dizygotic twin (not monozy gotic, as the show makes sure to be very clear about), Rachel Crabbe (Anna Flynn) pretends to be Roscoe in order to coerce the money which Charlie owed him so that she and her lover (and Roscoe’s murderer), Stanley Stubbers (Kenneth Gregory), can escape the police. So those two fugitives I mentioned earlier? Yeah, they’re also the governors who employ Francis.
I know; it’s a lot to comprehend and keep straight so, in hindsight, I guess Francis was justified in being confused most of the time about what was going on.
With how convoluted the plot was, this play was a wild ride from start to finish and made my face hurt with how much I was laughing and smiling at the antics of the characters and the unexpected, and sometimes raunchy, turn of events. Personally, some of my favorite characters were Dolly because I related to her feminist attitude and quick wit as well as Alan Dangle, Pauline’s new fiancée and aspiring actor, who never ceased to make me chuckle when he was on stage with his overly dramatic personality.
Overall, I would give this play a solid 5 out of 5 stars because it was well directed, produced and executed as well as it had a wide cast of characters that I came to love by the end of the show and relate to at some points.
Out of all the productions I have seen so far at the Island University, “One Man, Two Guvnors” is definitely one of my favorites and I know that whenever I hear a popular song from the 60’s, it will remind me of Francis, Dolly and the rest of their eccentric crew.