All the fun of Jeeves and Wooster in Bognor Regis!
Littlehampton GP Tim Kimber takes to the stage with his own company TJ Productions in a revival of Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense. Tim, who lives in East Preston, brings his company to Bognor's Regis Centre from April 11-14, promising plenty of laughs.
“This was written by the Goodale brothers based on The Code of the Woosters and starred Steven Mangan and Matthew Macfadyen in the West End where it won the Perrier award for comedy.
“Three of us (Tim plus Mark Roberts and Ben Cassan) will play 12 parts in a whirl of on-stage costume and scene changes.
“My wife Jane and I (hence TJ Productions) saw it at the Theatre Royal in Brighton, and we were both thinking this was something we really wanted to do. It was just such a fantastic piece.
“I am playing Jeeves and other characters. Ben (from Shoreham) is playing Bertie Wooster and Mark (from Rustington) is playing the other butler and other characters. Ben is Bertie throughout, and Mark and I are playing all the other characters. The first challenge is learning the dialogue. The next is that there are also fairly lengthy chunks of monologue which are pure Wodehouse and you absolutely can’t paraphrase. You have got to get them absolutely right. And then the next big challenge is all the technical side of it, all the very quick costume changes and all the set changes which are actually done by the actors on the side. Sometimes you are overdressing, sometimes you are underdressing. The costume changes are technically very difficult. I don’t think we could have chosen a technically more difficult piece than this, but that’s the fun of it.
“It all opens with Bertie Wooster on stage in his armchair and he is talking to the audience about the weekend he has just had… and then he gets the idea of re-enacting it for them, and that is the play that you then get, with the whole concept and the costume changes and the dialogue all woven into it. It is great fun.”
TJ Productions has been going for 12 years now.
“We set it up in 2006 simply because we wanted to put on The Full Monty musical. When it was first released for amateurs, I think a lot of people looked at it and thought that it was a bit too risky and also a bit too risqué. And also, it is not a really big company show. But we loved it and really wanted to do it. We did it up at the Capitol Theatre in Horsham. We had big houses and it was well received. Since then we have not done a show every year, but when a show comes up that really grabs us, we get the rights and we put it on. We were the first company in the south to do Calendar Girls.
“We don’t have a membership. We just invite friends from our network who might like to work with us on the show. We bankroll the whole thing and hope to get our money back, and mostly we just about do. We tend to do plays now because they are lower risk. If you are looking at doing a musical on the same basis as the play that we are doing, you would be looking at something like four times the cost.”
For more stories by Phil, see: https://www.chichester.co.uk/author/Phil.Hewitt2