“One Man, Two Guvnors” was the first offering of this season at the Rep. It is an adaptation of “Servant of Two Masters” an 18th century Italian comedy. This adaptation resets the time to 1963 and the place to Brighton, England. It has been all the rage in London for years now. It was a very funny play, full of slapstick, jokes and impromptu. We both enjoyed the play very much.
Usually, before each performance of the first play of a season, the Rep’s artistic director, Steve Woolf comes out to speak to the audience, but because “Two Guvnors” featured a British rock quartet, who performed a warm-up set instead, there was no opportunity for that this year. This is the Rep’s 48th season. Woolf was still to be seen in the wings, still sporting his characteristically loud sweater. I hope that Steve can continue to direct the company through the Rep’s 50th season and beyond, he has built a great institution.
At one point in the play one unrequited lover is trying to express to his true love, the feelings of loss that he had experienced, when he thought that through one of the play’s many subterfuges that his true love had died:
Stanley: I’ve never felt worse. I felt like the floral clock in winter.
Rachel: That’s exactly how I felt! All the flowers dead!
Stanley: And yet the mechanism of the clock is pointlessly turning!?
Rachel: The hour hand pointing to a dead geranium!
Stanley: The minute hand stuck on a long-gone begonia.
Rachel: Stanley, I really don’t want to go to Australia.
Stanley: Oh. Thank Christ! I never did. I can’t stand bloody opera.
Anne mentioned to me after the play that in 1972 she had been in Brighton and taken pictures of the very same floral clock there. I’ve seen those photos too and I searched for them this afternoon, but alas to no avail, too bad. This highly enjoyable show was preceded by an equally enjoyable dinner. We ate at Cyrano’s. I’ll skip over the main course to what is really the main course there, dessert. We shared an apple-blackberry pie. As Anne said, a pie prototypical of this week’s changing seasons, a pie still part summer and also part fall.