Preview: Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense
Stage adaptation of Wodehouse classic directed by Sean Foley starring John Gordon Sinclair set for Glasgow
‘It’s quite full-on,’ sighs John Gordon Sinclair. ‘I don’t just play Jeeves, I’m also Madeline Bassett, ‘Stiffy’ Byng, Sir Watkyn Bassett and Gussie Fink-Nottle. During rehearsals I came the closest I’ve ever been to saying “I don’t think I can do this”. It’s very physical, I’ve lost a stone since I started.’
Director Sean Foley, whom he had previously worked with on The Ladykillers in the West End, persuaded the Gregory’s Girl star to keep going. Now, he says, the trio of actors at the core of the show are ‘match fit’: with himself, James Lance and Robert Goodale (the co-writer alongside brother David) performing 11 characters between them. ‘It’s very fast-paced. I’ve got 19 quick costume changes – one of them’s timed at 29 seconds.’
The conceit is that ‘idle rich’ Bertie Wooster adapts his anecdotes as a play, assisted by his butlers Jeeves and Steppings, which means that the frantic staging comes directly from the plot. ‘We certainly didn’t try for anyone else’s idea of those characters other than Wodehouse’s.’
Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Mon 24–Sat 29 Nov.