One Man, Two Guvnors

Previewed 17 May 2011, Opened 24 May 2011, Closed 19 September 2011 at National Theatre's Lyttelton Theatre
Transferred to Adelphi Theatre, Previewed 8 November 2011, Opened 21 November 2011, Closed 25 February 2012
Transferred to Haymarket Theatre, Opened 2 March 2012, Closed 1 March 2014.

The National Theatre's acclaimed hit production of Richard Bean's comedy One Man, Two Guvnors in London, based on Carlo Goldoni's The Servant of Two Masters.

Rachel: "Are you seriously suggesting that we men, are, day to day, moment to moment, making thousands of small tactical decisions, the cumulative effect of which is to reduce the time between leg-overs?"
Francis: "I can't speak for you guv, but that is a fair description of my life."

Frances: "It's all right this two jobs lark, 'cause you can do what you like all day, and it don't matter if you get sacked 'cause you've still got the other job. And 'cause you got the sack, you can sign on straight away. Why doesn't everybody live like this?"

Directed by Nicholas Hytner with designs by Mark Thompson, lighting by Mark Henderson, music by Grant Olding and sound by Paul Arditti. Adapted from The Servant of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni and includes songs by Grant Olding.

"Richard Bean's spin on Goldoni's comedy has a new cast, as the original one is off to try its luck on Broadway. And the great news is that the show is just as uproarious, with Owain Arthur taking over from James Corden as a very Welsh Francis Henshall... Once Arthur manages his 'spontaneous' crack-ups a little more convincingly, he will be more than a match for his predecessor. Of all the feel-good shows in London, this is the funniest, the most physical and the smuttiest, making the saucy Brighton location so appropriate." The Sunday Times

"Every now and again, almost despite itself and its state handouts, its political correctness and its soul-destroying concrete home, the National Theatre manages to come up with a show that can stand on its own two feet in the West End. One Man, Two Guvnors is the latest production to join this not especially long list - War Horse and The History Boys are on it, too - and, given all the hoopla the first time around, I doubt that there is anything I can say to stop it selling out. I wonder, however, if Richard Bean's ribald re-working of the 18th-century Italian comedy Servant of Two Masters is quite as clever and funny as it clearly thinks it is. A lot of Nicholas Hytner's production seemed to me like a pantomime... It left me thinking that its star James Corden - the 'one man' of the title who is juggling two jobs - is, while no more than a competent actor, a brilliant ad-libbing, stand-up comedian. It struck me, too, that if you can occasionally take a play out of the National, it's never going to be possible to take the National out of a play. All of the comrades' usual trademarks are in evidence - the bad language, the class warfare embodied in a comedy public schoolboy, and, alas, the usual snide reference to Margaret Thatcher." The Sunday Telegraph

"James Corden was born to play Francis Henshall, a rotund, mismatched-check wearing small-timer who struggles to keep two mini gangland bosses happy without the brains to succeed. And you won't stop laughing at his efforts-he's a star. If anyone asks, this is inspired by an 18th Century comedy by Goldoni, but if they don't it's quite simply a 21st Century runaway success by Richard Bean. And there's been nothing like it. Set in seedy 60s Brighton, it's a mixture of farce, variety and music hall... Every member of the cast shines - both in the play and in front of the curtain where between scenes they provide 'musical interludes'... It's all very silly - but exquisitely so." The New of the World

"There is more than a touch of the 'Carry Ons' about this romping, often hilarious version of Carlo Goldoni's 18th century comedy, The Servant Of Two Masters... In this wildly-moving saga, written with great deftness and an ear for high comedy by Richard Bean, disguises and mistaken identities abound. James Corden plays Francis Henshall who, fired from his skiffle band, arrives in Sixties Brighton as minder to a small time East End Hood called Roscoe Crabbe. Crabbe is after the £6,000 owed him by his fiancée’s father. But, to complicate matters, Crabbe is really his sister Rachel, posing as her dead brother who has been murdered by her toff boyfriend Stanley Stubbers. Francis quickly spots an opportunity to double his money by also working for Stubbers who is hiding from the police and hoping to be reunited with Rachel. All Francis has to do is to keep his two 'guvnors' apart. As the TV meerkats say, 'Simples'. Simples it was not, but the Lyttleton echoed to roars of laughter at a play that out-farces even the most outrageously comic old Whitehall farces. Almost every line contains a joke and the interval was welcome - if only because it gave one a rest from being near hysterical with mirth. The deft touch of director Nicholas Hytner is an outstanding display, with timing so split second that a missed beat would ruin everything... And there were marvellous performances of country and western and Sixties rock between the scenes from The Craze." The Daily Express

This production of One Man, Two Guvnors was originally seen at the National Theatre's Lyttelton Theatre where the production previewed from 17 May 2011, opened on 24 May 2011 and closed on 19 September 2011. It then transferred to the West End's Adelphi Theatre where it previewed from 8 November 2011, opened 21 November 2011 and closed on 25 February 2012 before transferring to its current home, the Haymarket Theatre.

One Man, Two Guvnors in London at the Theatre Royal Haymarket Theatre from 2 March 2012 and closed 1 March 2014.