REVIEW: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (New Wimbledon Theatre)

'Based on the 1988 film starring Michael Caine and Steve Martin, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a fun and lively musical that boasts a laughter guaranteed or money back offer. That’s right; if you don’t laugh during this show you could get your money back! Luckily for the producers, this show is sure to make you giggle thanks to outrageous antics, clever direction and sterling performances.

As the effortlessly charming and slightly self-obsessed British con-man Lawrence, Micheal Praed swishes around the stage in a debonair cloud of class and cravats. The epitome of a silver fox Praed gives a fabulous British performance with an easy charm that makes the audience fall just the tiniest bit in love with him. Noel Sullivan is good fun to watch as Praed’s counterpart Freddy Benson, a crass American con-man who lacks the finesse and style to rake in the big bucks. Together the pair bounce of each other brilliantly and are great foils for each other.

But this show isn’t just about the boys. Giving a firecracker performance as an Oklahoman Daddy’s Princess, Phoebe Coupe is hilarious. Bold, brash and brilliant, Coupe smashes through the slightly slow moving first half and has the audience in stitches. As the older, glamourous mark and the young wide-eyed innocent, Geraldine Fitzgerald & Carley Stenson give the boys a run for their money with fine performances from both.

One of the excellent aspects of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is the fabulous chorus. They twirl and swirl around the stage with poise, bringing a touch of elegance and class to the evening. Peter McKintosh’s costume design and Jerry Mitchell’s choreography are reminiscent of the big MGM musicals of the 1940s, with glittery evening gowns and bell hop uniformed dancers all sashaying with grace.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a great musical to take your parents and grandparents to when you want to take them to a glitzy show that will bring a smile to their face. The show may lack a bit of bite, but it’s good jolly good fun and has some toe tapping numbers that will stick in your brain for days afterwards!

Reviewed by Roz Carter

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is playing in Woking until 31 October 2015. Click here for more information and to book tickets