Casting Revealed for One Man, Two Guvnors UK Tour


As part of a 37-city tour of the UK and Ireland, The National Theatre’s award-winning comedy, One Man, Two Guvnors will be showing at the Birmingham Hippodrome in May. Featuring a range of stage and screen stars, including Eastenders‘ Shaun Williamson, the cast for this the production’s third UK tour has now been announced.

Having previously starred in the West End show, Gavin Spokes will take on the lead role as Francis Henshall, an easily confused yet loveable character who is fired from his skiffle band and subsequently finds himself working for both local gangster, Roscoe Crabbe, and upper class criminal, Stanley Stubbers. Henshall desperately tries to keep his “two guvnors” apart, little knowing that, “Roscoe Crabbe” is in fact his disguised twin sister, Rachel, the real Roscoe having been murdered by her lover – none other than Stanley Stubbers. Spokes has previously performed in Jamie Lloyd’s production of She Stoops to Conquer at the National Theatre and as Oliver Hardy in Laurel and Hardy at the Watermill Theatre. He is currently playing Parsons in the Headlong/Almeida production of 1984.

Rachel/Roscoe Crabbe will be played by Alicia Davies, who was part of the production’s 2013 world tour. Her previous theatre work includes The Bachae and Blood Wedding in Northampton, The Comedy of Errors and The Importance of Being Ernest for Oxford Shakespeare Company and La Cage aux Folles for the Menier and West End. Stanley Stubbers, meanwhile, will be played by Patrick Warner. Like Spokes, Warner has featured in One Man, Two Guvnors in the West End, as well as in The Comedy of Errors for The Merely Players, Junket at the Arcola and Posh at the Royal Court Theatre.

Shaun Williamson (Eastenders, Extras, Life’s Too Short, New Tricks) will take on the role of Charlie “the Duck” Clench, an ageing, semi-retired gangster whose daughter Pauline was previously set to marry Roscoe Crabbe. Pauline, now determined to elope with amateur actor Alan Dangle, will be played by Jasmyn Banks (Eastenders, Little Crackers, Sadie Jones, Life of Riley). Alan will be played by Edward Hancock (Breathless), whose recent stage work includes Romeo in Romeo and Juliet at the Watermill Theatre, Jack in The Adventure for the Pleasance Courtyard and Manchester Royal Exchange and Guy in Posh for The Royal Court and West End.

Derek Elroy will return to the role of Lord Boateng, which he took on in the West End production. His other theatre credits include Kingston 14 at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East, Dick Whittington and His Cat at the Barbican Centre, and Vox Pop – The Magnets. Emma Barton (Eastenders, Spooks, You, Me and Them) will play Dolly. Her theatre work includes Doctor in the House (UK tour), Lily in Annie at West Yorkshire Playhouse, Roxie Hart in Chicago (West End and UK tour) and Peggy in the RSC’s The Secret Garden.

One Man, Two Guvnors is directed by Nicholas Hytner and adapted by Richard Bean from Carlo Goldoni’s 1743 play, The Servant of Two Masters (Il servitore di due padroni). It will play at the Birmingham Hippodrome from Monday 26th until Saturday 31st May, with tickets priced at £16.50-£35. To book, call 0844 338 5000 or visit the Birmingham Hippodrome website.  For more information on the production, visit the One Man, Two Guvnors official website.

New Season Launch – Autumn and Winter at the Birmingham Hippodrome


After the fabulous free theatre we’ve enjoyed over the last few weeks across Birmingham’s city centre, the summer may finally be over, but the fun is far from it! The Birmingham Hippodrome has just announced a new season packed full of all sorts of exciting shows to brighten up the cold, dark winter days!


18389_sFrom October through to Spring next year, you’ll be able to enjoy a range of smash-hit musicals, National Theatre shows on tour, contemporary dance, world-class opera and ballet from the Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Welsh National Opera, and of course, the return of the world’s biggest pantomime this Christmas.

The new season kicks off next month with the Birmingham Royal Ballet’s ‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café, E=MC² and Tombeaux (3-5 October) and later The Sleeping Beauty, (8-12 October) followed by the National Theatre’s War Horse (16 October – 9 November). If you want to get yourself some War Horse tickets, act fast, since the show is almost sold out already!


Alongside the War Horse run, two additional special events will be taking place: Only Remembered (Friday 8th November), a concert featuring live readings from the original War Horse novel by its author Michael Morpurgo and music from John Tams and Barry Coope, and a War Horse-themed sleepover (Friday 25th October) that will see the Patrick Centre transformed into World War I-style trenches.


Towards the end of the month, there will be more opportunities to experience free outdoor shows in Birmingham. Make sure you wrap up warm for Illuminate! (25-27 October) a three-day light spectacular featuring interactive street projections from Shanghai, dance performances and The Lanterns of Terracotta Warriors, an extraordinary exhibition originally created for the Beijing Olympics.


Throughout November, the Welsh National Opera will present Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca (12 & 16 November) and Gaetano Donizetti’s new Tudors series: Anna Bolena (13 November), Maria Stuarda (14 November) and Roberto Devereux (15 November). 


As Christmas approaches, the Hippodrome will be helping you to get into the festive spirit with a Birmingham Royal Ballet production of The Nutcracker (22 November – 12 December), as well as its excellent, all-star pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (19 December – 2 February). This year’s panto will star Gok Wan, Stephanie Beacham, Gary Wilmot, John Partridge and winner of the BBC’s Over the Rainbow series Danielle Hope.


February is a great month to catch some ballet at the Hippodrome, with two more productions from the Birmingham Royal Ballet (Three of a Kind from 19-22 February and The Prince of the Pagodas from 25 February – 1 March), as well as Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake (5-15 February).


Meanwhile, March is the month for music, with three WNO operas and two exciting musicals.  The Welsh National Opera will present Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata (4 & 8 March) as well as two brand new productions, Manon Lescaut (5 & 7 March) and Boulevard Solitude (6 March). From 11-15 March, award-winning producers Music & Lyrics will be presenting their take on Fiddler on the Roof, starring Paul Michael Glaser and, towards the end of the month, the theatre’s stage will be flooded with 12,000 litres of water every night as part of its Singin’ in the Rain performances (18 March – 5 April), starring Maxwell Caulfield and Faye Tozer.


In April, Wet, Wet, Wet frontman Marti Pellow will star in Evita (8-19 April), while a brand new musical based on the classic TV series Happy Days will star Sugababes’ Heidi Range (22-26 April). The Happy Days musical is written by the series’ creator Gary Marshall, with creative consultancy from Henry Winkler, TV’s original “Fonz”.


May sees the return of the biennial International Dance Fest Birmingham, co-produced by the Hippodrome and DanceXchange. The festival will kick off with Sideways Rain (29-30 April) by Genevan contemporary dance company Alias, and will also include Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui’s M!longa  (23-24 May), international hip-hop festival Breakin’ Convention (20-21 May), a new adaptation of William Golding’s The Lord of the Flies by Matthew Bourne (14-17 May) and a performance from acclaimed ballerina Sylvie Guillem in 6,000 Miles Away (6-7 May). Bourne’s new production will feature young New Adventures dancers from the West Midlands as part of efforts to inspire a new generation to get involved in dance. 


As Spring leads on into summer, the National Theatre‘s five-star comedy feast, One Man, Two Guv’nors will arrive in Birmingham (26-31 May), providing an excellent opportunity to catch this highly-praised production if you missed it in London. One Man, Two Guv’nors is an adaptation of Carlo Goldoni’s classic 1743 comedy The Servant of Two Masters, reimagined in 1960s Brighton by Richard Bean.

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So it comes full circle back to summer. Next summer’s big musical show will be Wicked (9 July – 6 September). It may seem a long way to plan ahead, but tickets for Wicked are already being snapped up by audiences. In September, the Hippodrome will also be showing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats. Check back here for details about when tickets go on sale.


To book tickets and for more information, visit the Birmingham Hippodrome website.

Happy watching!