By Jove! Jeeves and Wooster open new season at refurbished Welwyn Garden City theatre

PUBLISHED: 12:13 07 October 2016 | UPDATED: 12:18 07 October 2016

David Thompson as Jeeves and Peter Kirkby as Bertie in Jeeves and Wooster in 'Perfect Nonsense' at the Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City [Picture: John Davies]

David Thompson as Jeeves and Peter Kirkby as Bertie in Jeeves and Wooster in 'Perfect Nonsense' at the Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City [Picture: John Davies]

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A frantic farce of fun and failure will open the new season at the Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City this evening (Friday).

Ian Colpitts as Seppings, David Thompson as Madeline Bassett and Peter Kirkby as Bertie in Jeeves and Wooster in 'Perfect Nonsense' at the Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City [Picture: John Davies]Ian Colpitts as Seppings, David Thompson as Madeline Bassett and Peter Kirkby as Bertie in Jeeves and Wooster in 'Perfect Nonsense' at the Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City [Picture: John Davies]

Jeeves and Wooster in ‘Perfect Nonsense’ is the first play to take to the stage in the newly-refurbished auditorium at the WGC venue.

Taken from the works of P.G. Wodehouse, and directed by Hannah Sayer, the comedy opens in Handside Lane today (Friday, October 7) and runs until Saturday, October 15.

Written by David and Robert Goodale, the play is based on the 1938 novel The Code of the Woosters.

When a country house weekend takes a turn for the worse, Bertie Wooster is unwittingly called on to play matchmaker, and also to steal a silver cow creamer from Totleigh Towers.

With typical enthusiastic self-delusion, Wooster hires a West End theatre to put on a dramatised version of events, declaring with the arrogance of the truly stupid, “I’ve been to the theatre a few times and I’ve seen people act – how hard can this be?”

Rather belatedly he realises that playing all the roles himself is going to be very hard work indeed, so Jeeves is called in to play himself and other supporting roles, along with Aunt Dahlia’s butler Seppings.

While Bertie has only to provide his own lines, Jeeves and Seppings are responsible for scenery, props, sound effects and doubling up as numerous other characters, male and female.

The ensuing chaos is delightfully hilarious for the audience and something of a challenge for the director.

Peter Kirkby as Bertie and Ian Colpitts as Seppings in Jeeves and Wooster in 'Perfect Nonsense' at the Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City [Picture: John Davies]Peter Kirkby as Bertie and Ian Colpitts as Seppings in Jeeves and Wooster in 'Perfect Nonsense' at the Barn Theatre in Welwyn Garden City [Picture: John Davies]

Hannah Sayer said: “It’s very technical. There are lots of set changes, Jeeves and Steppings play five characters each, and Bertie has to know when he’s talking to the audience.

“They have to change costume, change character and change scenery – not for the faint hearted!

“And I’m not only thinking about what’s happening on stage, I have to take in what’s going on back stage as well, including setting a revolve during the interval.”

As you would expect, Hannah has put together a great cast with two Barn favourites, David Thompson (Jeeves) and Ian Colpitts (Seppings), and newcomer Peter Kirkby in the role of Bertie Wooster.

Jeeves & Wooster in 'Perfect Nonsense'Jeeves & Wooster in 'Perfect Nonsense'

Although this is his debut at the Barn, Peter has been a regular on stage locally with Lytton Players and Letchworth Arcadians in productions ranging from South Pacific to Macbeth.

He describes himself as a comic actor and his past reviews confirm that – he’s very funny indeed.

Evening performances are at 8pm, with a matinee on Saturday, October 15 at 2.30pm.

• Tickets cost £12 from the Barn Theatre box office on 01707 324300 or online at www.barntheatre.co.uk

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