An excellent cast will leave you with a big grin on your face as you leave the Chemainus Theatre following a performance of their latest production, Jeeves Intervenes.
Warren Bain and Bernard Cuffling reprise their roles as Bertie Wooster and all-knowing butler Jeeves, respectively, following on last year’s successful run with the classic P.G. Wodehouse characters in Jeeves in Bloom.
Bain is a bundle of energy, managing to make the shallow, unambitious and well-to-do Bertie someone we are both happy to laugh at, but also root for in his capers to avoid matrimony.
Cuffling as Jeeves is the comedic straight man to a “t”. His dry delivery is perfect as he reins in and directs Bertie’s life from the behind the throne, so to speak, but is nonetheless able to convey a sly wit. Behind the stoic facade the audience just knows he is rolling his eyes at the silliness around him, and we know he’ll fix it all in the end.
New to the cast this time are Olivia Hutt as love interest Gertrude, Brian Linds as skinflint Sir Rupert, Seth Little as Bertie’s hapless pal Eustace and Barbara Pollard as Bertie’s dreaded Aunt Agatha.
All are marvellous and hilarious. Little as the brainless and broke Eustace is particularly fun as he attempts to scam his way out of a trip to India to learn the jute business from the bottom up, courtesy of his Scottish uncle, Sir Rupert.
And Barbara Pollard as Aunt Agatha is a treat as she serenely bullies Bertie; her clear-eyed assessments of him and his frivolous existence hitting the mark.
Hutt as an Agatha-in-training obsessed with German philosophy and “improving” her man is charming. Linds makes the perfect Sir Rupert — if set in modern times this would be the cantankerous old guy yelling at the young kids to get off his lawn.
The cast is great, which is important because the success of this show relies entirely on their ability to make us laugh at them, but make us like them enough to hope it all works out for the best for them in the end.
As their secrets and schemes progress to produce ever-more insanity, it makes for great laugh-out-loud comedy. It’s absurdity at its best from Eustace declaring his interest in chicken farming and Bertie getting kicked out of his own home to characters sporting names like Bassington-Bassington and Winklesworth-Bode.
A shout-out to the costume designer who also does a wonderful job with setting the mood and tone of the show.
I heartily recommend Jeeves Intervenes if you’re looking for a night of light, fun entertainment that will have you giggling.
It’s only on until Oct. 3, so get your tickets booked soon. Go to chemainustheatre.ca or call 1-800-565-7738.