As I’m writing this, I can barely keep my eyes open. I’m as pleased as punch of course, if I have got the words right. You see yesterday, I was sitting in my chair when what should happen….Jeeves, will you come along, we have a story to tell…
You see when you hear a West End production is coming to India in the centenary year of Jeeves and Wooster, you get off your chair, no rather sit back again and book those tickets even though they cost as much as two days of meals combined.
Taking off from The Code of the Woosters, “Jeeves and Wooster in Perfect Nonsense” takes you through the knotty ends that only Bertie can find himself in. Caught between losing his single privileges again if he doesn’t fix things between his newt-obsessed friend Gussie Fink-Nottle and Madeline Bassett; stealing an antique cow creamer for Aunt Dahlia from Sir Watkyn Bassett; being blackmailed by young Stiffy Byng and risk being beaten black and blue by Sir Roderick Spode, it is only Jeeves who can help now. And Joseph Chance, playing Jeeves, indeed does by uncovering the secret of ‘Eulalie’.
Matthew Carter, who plays Wooster, fit in best with my imagination, with his peppiness, jumpiness and his quintessential Englishness. But then he had to tackle being just one gentleman unlike Chance and Robert Goodale, who play a motley of characters between them. While I couldn’t quite accept Chance as My Man Jeeves, he was excellent otherwise.
The play had some delightful moments – the slow motion sequence involving Mr Basset, Wooster and the cow creamer, the entry and subsequent re-entries of Mr Spode and the drive to Totleigh Towers. That’s not to forget the tricks Jeeves had up his sleeve with the set itself (How are you doing it Jeeves?).
But did it take me to an era of nephews, clubs, butlers and aunts in the upper-class Edwardian world penned by P G Wodehouse? To an extent. It wasn’t a laugh riot like The Magistrate, which though not based on a Wodehouse novel, had that touch to it. But it had its moments and I was much obliged.
The play is on at Jamshed Bhabha Theatre, NCPA on Jan 9, 10 at 4 pm and 8 pm.
Ps: Stay back for the encore, there are surprises in store.