In light of One Man, Two Guvnors Richard Bean's musical adaptation of Carlo Goldoni's The Servant of Two Masters being nominated for seven Tony Awards, my editor at The Arts Fuse Bill Marx has elected to repost my review of the broadcast presentation of the original run at the National Theatre:
English comedy has never shied from its roots in the Italian commedia dell’arte: Shakespeare set most of his comedies in Italy, the Mister Punch who beats the devil, the hangman, and Judy was once a Neapolitan known as Pulcinella, while the popular English form of the Harlequinade is unmistakably a nineteenth-century permutation of commedia. England’s continued preoccupation with class and the long history of southern English cities receiving groups of migrant workers from other parts of Britain, each bringing with them their own distinct dialects and culture, nurture an appetite for commedia-inspired comedy of class and ethnic stereotypes. Consequently, it is natural for playwright Richard Bean to adapt the plot of Carlo Goldoni’s classic The Servant of Two Masters from seventeenth-century Venice to the 1963 Brighton, England of One Man, Two Guvnors[....]
Read more in The Arts Fuse!