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SBCC theatre department to debut “One Man Two Guvnors”

MELISSA TROELLER, Channels Staff

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City College will have their debut performance of “One Man Two Guvnors,” a humor and music filled comedy play by Richard Bean on Thursday, Oct. 12, in the Garvin Theatre.

In the play, a man named Francis Henshall finds himself employed by two bosses, one being a gangster in disguise of his twin sister.

“I was called by the director to play the lead role, and I just couldn’t say no,” said faculty member Michael Bernard, playing Francis.

Francis, who is accidently employed by two masters, is a clumsy character with a thick British accent.

“To prepare for the character I practice my lines with my kids,” Bernard said. “It’s different preparing for improvisation, that’s different every time.”

Francis’ first guvnor is Roscoe Crabbe, a gangster who is in Brighton for money owed to him by his fiancee’s father, Charlie Clench. However, Roscoe happens to be his twin sister Rachel Crabbe in disguise.

Roscoe was killed by Rachel’s boyfriend, Stanley Stubbers, and she wants the money to escape the country with Stanley. Francis’s second boss is Stanley, who doesn’t know that Rachel is in Brighton, Stanley is waiting to be reunited with Rachel and needs to prevent discovery so he can earn money from both guvnors.

Francis struggles to keep his two guvnors unaware of one another. That challenge heightens when he is required to serve them both dinner in side by side rooms of a pub.

“The actors have been rehearsing since mid June,” said director Rick Mokler. “There will be some profanity in the script referencing the D – word, but the play is slick and fast.”

The play includes a lot of word play and audience interaction, also known as “aside” in theatre. The play, set in 1963 Brighton, England, is an adaptation of “The Servant of Two Masters,” an 18th-century commedia dell’arte comedy by the Italian playwright Carlo Goldoni.

The play will feature 12 songs played by a live band consisting of cast members.

The music genre in the play ranges from rockabilly and 50’s Doo Wop, featuring various instruments such as the guitar, saxophone, drums, bass, harmonica and a washboard.

“One Man Two Guvnors” first gained popularity when English actor and comedian, James Corden played as Francis Henshall in 2011. The play went straight to broadway soon after.

Ticket Prices for are $18 for general admission, $15 for seniors and City College staff and $10 for students. More information about the play can be found at the theatre department’s website.

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SBCC theatre department to debut “One Man Two Guvnors”