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One Man, Two Guvnors moves home

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING two sell-out record-breaking runs at the National and Adelphi Theatres, Nicholas Hytner’s production of One Man, Two Guvnors will transfer to the Theatre Royal Haymarket, where it will run from March 2 to September 15, 2012.

Owain Arthur will take over as lovable chancer Francis Henshall when the production moves to the Theatre Royal Haymarket having previously stepped in to the role at the Adelphi. Further casting will be announced shortly for the Theatre Royal Haymarket transfer.

Richard Bean’s award-wining adaptation, based on Carlo Goldoni’s The Servant of Two Masters, opened at the National Theatre in May 2011. Last month, after a UK tour, One Man, Two Guvnors opened at the Adelphi Theatre where it will complete its run on February 25, 2012. A Broadway production is scheduled to open at the Music Box Theatre on April 18, 2012.

In Richard Bean’s English version of Goldoni’s classic Italian comedy, sex, food and money are high on the agenda. Fired from his skiffle band, Francis Henshall becomes minder to Roscoe Crabbe, a small time East End hood, now in Brighton to collect £6000 from his fiancee’s dad. But Roscoe is really his sister Rachel posing as her own dead brother, who’s been killed by her boyfriend Stanley Stubbers.

Holed up at the Cricketers’ Arms, the permanently ravenous Francis spots the chance of an extra meal ticket and takes a second job with one Stanley Stubbers, who is hiding from the police and waiting to be re-united with Rachel. To prevent discovery, Francis must keep his two guvnors apart. Simple.

Owain Arthur, who trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, has been understudying the role of Francis Henshall as part of the West End Company. His other theatre credits include Nicholas Hytner’s National Theatre production of The History Boys, Romeo and Juliet (Royal Shakespeare Company), The Comedy of Errors (Royal Exchange Theatre) and Birdsong (Comedy Theatre).

On screen, he has appeared in Holby City, Ddeg, Cei Bach, New Tricks and The Palace (TV); Abroad, Mr Nice and Eldra (film).

Richard Bean’s plays include England People Very Nice (National Theatre), The Heretic, Harvest – winner of the Critics’ Circle Award for Best New Play – Honeymoon Suite, Under the Whaleback and Toast (Royal Court Theatre) and The Big Fellah (for Out of Joint at the Lyric Hammersmith and on tour)

He also adapted David Mamet’s House of Games and wrote a new version of The Hypochondriac for the Almeida Theatre. Last month, Bean won the 2011 Evening Standard Award for Best Play for One Man, Two Guvnors and The Heretic.

Since he became Director of the National in April 2003, Nicholas Hytner has directed Henry V, His Dark Materials, The History Boys, Stuff Happens, Henry IV, Southwark Fair, The Alchemist, The Man of Mode, The Rose Tattoo (with Stephen Pimlott), Rafta, Rafta… , Much Ado About Nothing, Major Barbara, England People Very Nice, Phèdre, The Habit of Art, London Assurance, Hamlet and Collaborators.

With songs by Grant Olding and physical comedy direction by Cal McCrystal, One Man, Two Guvnors is designed by Mark Thompson, with lighting by Mark Henderson, sound design by Paul Arditti, fight direction by Kate Waters and choreography by Adam Penford.

Booking for performances at the Theatre Royal Haymarket open on December 16, 2011.

Meanwhile, for the continuing West End run of One Man, Two Guvnors there will be 130 tickets available at £15 for each performance. There will be no booking fees for tickets purchased from the National Theatre Box Office.

The Lion in Winter continues at the Theatre Royal Haymarket until January 28, 2012.