Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Review

Grand Theatre, Leeds – 2 July 2015

Based on the 1988 movie of the same name, which starred Michael Caine and Steve Martin, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels actually transfers quite well to the stage.

The audience at The Grand, on a UK tour after a successful run at the Savoy Theatre in the West End, were transported to the luxurious French Riviera resort of Beaumont-sur-Mer. There, sophisticated conman Lawrence Jameson, played superbly at the performance I attended by Kevin Stephen-Jones, revels in swindling cash, jewellery and just about anything from rich, upper-class women. He has the local police chief Andre (Mark Benton) in his pocket and all is going well. But his monopoly comes under threat from wide-boy Freddy Benson (Noel Sullivan), who wants a slice of the action. Beaumont-sur-Mer can’t accommodate them both, so they concoct a bet to be the first to scam millionaire soap heiress Christine Colgate (Carley Stenson) out of $50,000. But the target of their affections and tricks is not all she is cracked up to be.

Stenson’s Christine is a delight from the moment she steps on stage; goofy but charming, clumsy yet loveable, as she reels in her two oblivious suitors.

Matching her in class is Geraldine Fitzgerald as wealthy divorcée Muriel Eubanks, who embarks on an hilariously exhausting tryst with Andre

Sullivan is not just vocally talented but surprisingly twinkle toed and his comedic timing lends itself nicely to the play’s witty asides, with some corpsing and what seems genuine enjoyment in the part

“Give Them What They Want”, we’re told is the golden rule of a con artist and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels certainly does – but far from feeling scammed, I walked out of the The Grand more tickled than Freddy’s poor feet, thanks to a slick, well-executed production that hits all the right notes.

In Leeds until Saturday 4th July and on tour around the UK