Slapstick and satire on show

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A critically-acclaimed comedy that scored James Corden a Tony Award is the latest challenge Queenstown’s Remarkable Theatre.

One Man, Two Guvnors tells the story of out-of-work skiffle player Francis Henshall, who becomes separately employed by two men. All Henshall has to do to keep his meal ticket is to prevent his two employers from finding out he is working for another guvnor on the side.

As you might imagine, shenanigans ensue.

Lead character Henshall is played by Remarkable Theatre stalwart Blaise Barham.

The accent hasn’t been too much of a challenge for Barham to nail – he’s originally from Brighton in England, where the play is set.

He describes his character as a mix of Rene from ‘Allo ‘Allo! and Manuel from Fawlty Towers

“It’s got a lot of slapstick, a lot of physical comedy, a lot of verbal comedy, innuendo, farce, parody, wordplay, there’s romantic comedy, irony, a bit of black comedy.

“There’s all those different styles in it, which makes it really exciting to put on.”

The show was first staged in 2011, and made its Broadway debut in 2012.

That run landed comedian and actor James Corden a Tony for Outstanding Actor in a Play for his performance as Henshall.

Barham says the show was on director Deb Lind’s bucket list of plays to direct.

Remarkable Theatre also wanted to tackle something different after staging a drama last year, he says.

He’s also giving a shout-out to the strong community support they’ve received for the production, which he calls their most ambitious yet.

One Man, Two Guvnors runs from September 12 to 21 at Arrowtown’s Athenaeum Hall.

daisy.hudson@scene.co.nz