The brilliant PG Wodehouse was a prolific writer of books and plays many of which targeted the more idiotic elements of the English aristocracy. Two of his most popular characters were the somewhat mindless Bernie Wooster and his faithful and cunning valet, Jeeves. Whilst many saw his work as flippant, it is a mark of Wodehouse that his works have influenced so many (for example, his impact on the Monty Python crew is greater than may be ordinarily acknowledged) and his humour still works as many as 100 years on.
That latter observation is fully evident in this delicious new comedy, featuring the aforementioned Wooster (Matthew Carter) and Jeeves (Joseph Chance) along with butler Seppings (Robert Goodale).
Perfect Nonsense, written by Goodale and his brother David (who also directs) is aptly named as it mixes the usual sillies of love trysts, misunderstandings, villains and innocent young women in an amalgam of many Wodehouse works that have their stories pivot around, of all things, a silver cow creamer.
Other than Carter as Wooster, the other two cast members interchange in a variety of characters until such time as they simply run out of options and two roles need to be shared by the same actor simultaneously in one of the many standout scenes.
The acting, comic timing and stage craft is, as one would expect of seasoned British performers, brilliant with full credit to Cater for sustaining, without ere a momentary pause, his air head persona throughout his near on two hours on stage. Chance digs deep with relish some of his more bizarre roles while Goodale delivers the more non-dialogue moments with stunning aplomb.
It is perhaps a sad coincidence that this show hits town just as State Theatre’s very similar story and production of The 39 Steps breaks local box office records. But be advised, if you can handle both, do – delights like these do not happen every week. Or more likely, if you can’t get into The Playhouse you certainly won’t go home with any sense of missing out after revelling in Perfect Nonsense this week.
But both is best.
Kryztoff Rating 4K