Review: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

Carly Stenson and Noel Sullivan

King’s Theatre, Glasgow
Until: Saturday 27th June 2015
Performance Reviewed: Tuesday 23rd June 2015
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Jerry Mitchell’s production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels the Musical, takes the 1988 film starring Sir Michael Caine and Steve Martin and adds brilliant songs and even more hilarity.

If you haven’t seen the film or show before, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is set in 1950s French Riviera, in a place called Beaumont-Sur-Mer, and tells the story of fraudster Lawrence Jameson (Michael Praed), his sidekick Andre Thibault (Mark Benton) and his protégé Freddy Benson (Noel Sullivan).

Lawrence thinks he’s the best con-man in the area, having women fall at his feet and give him their money, jewellery – anything – but that all changes when he meets young and ambitious American, Freddy, on the train. What then ensues is a lot of hilarity, power struggles and some brilliant song and dance numbers.

Michael Praed as Lawrence brings suaveness and sophistication to Beaumont-Sur-Mer with a smooth voice to match his smooth moves on the ladies. His opening song, Give Them What They Want, sets the scene nicely.

Noel Sullivan is fast becoming one of my favourites to see in any touring production, having previously loved his performances in We Will Rock You and Rock of Ages – though it could also be down to the great characters he plays. Freddy Benson is no exception – fun, hyperactive and cunning, he starts off as Lawrence’s student but soon finds he’s teaching the master a trick or two.

Mark Benton as Andre is amusing, even if his part is a supporting role. At one point he very much reminds me of Rab C. Nesbitt which is quite appropriate for the Glasgow audience, whether intentional or not. There are also some other local references thrown in for good measure.

However, the star of the show for me is Carley Stenson as Christine Colgate – the rich American soap queen that both Lawrence and Freddy make a bet to swindle $50,000 from. She’s blonde, brash and blooming brilliant. Every one of her scenes had me in stitches.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels has some of the best songs in a musical I have heard for a long time, they are memorable and hilarious. My personal favourites have to be Great Big Stuff, All About Ruprecht and Love is My Legs.

The set and costumes by Peter McKintosh perfectly encapsulate the glamour of the 1950s, from the train, to a hotel and Lawrence’s humble abode.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is a fabulous night out with a top cast and great storyline and songs – if you haven’t already got your tickets, I recommend you get them now!

Tickets are available at: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Glasgow tickets

The Scoundrels will also be visiting Aberdeen in July and Edinburgh in September.