Tony Sheldon, Katrina Retallick and  Matt Hethrington. Pic Kurt Sneddon
Tony Sheldon, Katrina Retallick and Matt Hethrington. Pic Kurt Sneddon

Nearly a month ago I watched a rehearsal of DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS, the new musical based on the movie of the same name, starring Michael Caine and Steve Martin. With performances at that rehearsal by musical luminaries as Tony Sheldon, John Wood, Matt Hetherington and Amy Lehpamer, deftly directed by Roger Hodgman it was an exciting experience. On that occasion I  interviewed Katrina Retallick and Matt Hethrington who both asserted that the rehearsals were such fun that it had to translate to an uproarious, laugh a minute experience for the audiences. Bold predictions all fulfilled and then some!

In what could best be described as  an effervescent performance, (the metaphor of a glass of  French champagne comes to mind – no make that a magnum), the audience was treated to a deliciously witty, quick succession of gags and musical numbers that positively fizzed on the palate and left one feeling sated. The humour was often tongue in cheek. For instance, as the set is struck through the wings, a hung over Muriel Eubanks, delightfully played by Anne Wood, asks:”Are these stairs moving?”

The tunes were catchy and the lyrics funny.  Stand outs numbers were “What’s a Woman to Do?” and “Love is My Legs”. The energetic mischievous cast were matched by great direction from Roger Hodgman,  a wonderful set and lighting, (even the lighting was mischievous!) Tony Sheldon, Matt Hetherington, Amy Lehpamer, John Wood  and Katrina Retallick were hard to fault, except perhaps for John’s fairly ‘sus’ French accent – but even that was tongue in cheek, puns and all!  The ensemble and orchestra were also very good.

When I asked Matt what he thought audiences would remember, he said “A great fun night.”   Too true! Don’t miss this.

DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS is playing at the Theatre Royal  until Sunday December 8. Bookings Ticketmaster or 1300723038.