The Drowsy Chaperone

Bob Martin and Don McKellar’s The Drowsy Chaperone is a musical comedy set in the 1920’s and was initially written as a comic stag gift before being altered into a full length show for the Toronto Fringe Festival. Narrated by The Man in the Chair, who holds a great love for the show, it transitions between the man’s living room and the scenes of the show being played out on the stage.

This particular production takes a great deal from the Broadway version and although this means the show is slick and enjoyable to watch, I would have preferred to have seen more of their own artistic interpretation.

The narrative follows the soon-to-be-wed couple Robert Martin (Jaco Norval) and Janet Van De Graaff (Charlotte Donald) as they prepare for their wedding. Janet has vowed to give up the stage for Robert but begins to develop cold feet, just as Robert does. Gangsters disguised as pastry chefs also try to stop the wedding and employ Aldolpho (Adam Walker) to sleep with the bride; however he mistakenly ends up with the chaperone instead. The show ends with almost all characters being joined in marriage and flying off to Rio.

The set for this production is simple, yet effective. The company has created a fridge which allows the actors to enter and exit from off stage with added comic value. The costumes are also well designed, bringing the 1920’s straight to 2014. This particular production takes a great deal from the Broadway version starring Sutton Foster and although this means the show is slick and enjoyable to watch, I would have preferred to have seen more of their own artistic interpretation.

The narrative is filled with comic musical numbers, for example Bride’s Lament as the Bride sings about putting a monkey on a pedestal. It is difficult however to comment too much on the singing of this group as the music drowns almost all of the vocals, although this did get better towards the latter part of the show. From what I heard though, the vocals are good. The group also combines piano and backing track which often confused my hearing during the show and I feel the piece could have been strengthened if only live instruments had been used.

Although all of the cast are talented and the production is slick, the star of the show is Stuart Burrows as the Man in the Chair. His portrayal of the character was witty, charismatic and completely charming.

Reviews by Lyndsey Bakewell

Pleasance Courtyard

The Only Way is Downton

★★★★
theSpace @ Venue45

The Temptation of St Anthony

★★★
Zoo Southside

Last Chance Romance

★★★★
New Town Theatre

Circus Incognitus

★★★
SpaceCabaret @ 54

Butterfly in Shades of Blue

★★
Pleasance Courtyard

I Need A Doctor: The Whosical

★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Cygnet Players revive their acclaimed production of this Tony Award Winning Musical. Be transported to the frivolous 1920s in this riotous, glamorous and utterly ridiculous homage to musical theatre. 'Quality theatre at its best' (Sardines). 'This production is one of the best non-professional productions I have ever seen!’ (NODA).

Most Popular See More

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Witness for the Prosecution

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £37.00

More Info

Find Tickets