THEATRE REVIEWS - Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Robert Lindsay (left) and Rufus Houns in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Robert Lindsay (left) and Rufus Houns in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
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FIRST it was an award-winning hit film. Now Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is having its world debut in Manchester and there’s a certainly a feeling of sly satisfaction in the thought that what Manchester sees today, London sees tomorrow.

Actually it’s about three weeks.

Of course, there’s always the thought that a new play/musical has an out of town run to ensure it presses all the right buttons.

No problem with “Scoundrels” which is a wholly entertaining music with a great story at its core. And then there’s the stunning top-names cast – Robert Lindsay, Rufus Hound, Katherine Kingsley and Downton’s Samantha Bond. It’s a while since I’ve been immersed in such quality, classy acting in a musical and this is a big bucks production throughout.

The great appeal of this new musical is that it has two totally different kinds of style. One rooted in the glam musicals of yesteryear, and the other dead up-to-date. Quite literally the fun never stops.

Elegant costumes and superb sets add terrific elegance to a show in which conmen baddies play their dirty (and rotten) games in the South of France where they swoop on rich ladies with an array of cash-grabbing plots. All in the best possible taste, of course.

“Scoundrels” is magnificently stylish. The music dovetails smoothly into every scene.

As the suave upper-class coman and the down-market robber, Robert Lindsay and Rufus House create a great, great partnership and their interactions and energy had the audience roaring with laughter. A perfect balance was created by lovely Katherine Kingsley and the super-sophisticated Samantha Bond.

The good and the bad go hand in hand in a glorious melange of all that’s best in musical entertainment and it must be said that the ensemble added to the amazing quality.

“Scoundrels” ends at at the Manchester Opera House on February 22.

London awaits. And, in my view, this cracking show must surely be heading for New York.