With the weather we have been having lately, it was not much of a stretch to reimagine the Windmill Theatre as the French Riviera.
Because this was the setting of Littlehampton Musical Comedy Society’s latest production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels: a tale of lovable rogues outfoxing each other with twist after twist.
According to the society, this is the first time the 2005 musical has been performed by an amateur dramatic society in the county – and the cast made sure they put their stamp on it.
Based on the 1988 film starring Michael Caine and Steve Martin, the tale revolves around the titular scoundrels: Lawrence Jameson, a suave English gentlemen-come-con-artist, and Freddy Benson, a vulgar American hustler who has come to steal the seasoned veteran’s crown – almost literally.
They place a bet that each can swindle American soap heiress Christine Colegate out of $50,000, with the loser leaving town for good. But the arrival of a criminal mastermind known as ‘The Jackal’ throws a spanner in the works.
It is a fast-paced show, with twists and turns aplenty and high-energy musical numbers, and the cast managed to keep up.
Comic timing was crucial – but thankfully, the audience was in safe hands with the main three players. Tim Kimber crooned his way through the musical as the smooth-operator Lawrence, and his day job as a GP came in handy when his character masqueraded as psychologist Dr Emil Shuffhausen. But let’s just say his bedside manner left something to be desired, with humorous results.
As Miss Colegate, LMCS newcomer Jacqueline Anderson captured her sunny disposition – but in keeping with the theme of the show, it was stolen by radio DJ Tom Brennan as Freddy.
His accent and comic timing was spot-on – not least when the con-man posed as the chromosomally-deficient Ruprecht.
The show runs until August 11.