Dirty Rotten Scoundrels - cast insight
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels hosted a media event last night, attended by most of the cast, which has recently seen some changes. The show, a musical stage adaptation of the 1988 movie of the same name, opened at the Savoy Theatre on 1 April 2014, following previews from 10 March, and is booking to 7 March 2015.
Alex Gaumond has recently taken over from comedian Rufus Hound, as Freddy Benson, joining the show on 11 November. Alex told Londontheatre.co.uk that he just had to say 'yes!' as soon as he got the call to join the show and that the best part of being an actor is that he gets to play a wide range of characters. His most recent West End stage credits include Miss Trunchbull in 'Matilda' for the RSC at the Cambridge Theatre, Alberto Beddini in 'Top Hat' at the Aldwych Theatre, Galileo in 'We Will Rock You' at the Dominion Theatre and Emmett Forrest in 'Legally Blonde' at the Savoy Theatre, for which Alex was nominated for an Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical.
Associate Director Dominic Shaw said that the initial rehearsal period prior to the show's opening was about five weeks with the whole cast, but that Alex Gaumond only had two weeks to learn the role and only a few rehearsals with the cast. Associate Choreographer Darren Carnall explained further, "The show is very rhythmical, so it can be difficult when someone new comes in, especially in the role of Freddy, who is such a catalyst for all the humour and the set-ups. There is that preview period where the cast is getting used to him, but now everyone is gelling together."
Another recent addition to the cast is Bonnie Langford, who joined the show in September, taking over the role of Muriel Eubanks from Samantha Bond. Bonnie, who has a long history of performing in the West End, having made her debut in a musical adaptation of 'Gone With The Wind' at Theatre Royal Drury Lane at the age of seven, told us that she was very excited to be in the production. Bonnie's last West End role was earlier this year, as The Lady In The Lake in 'Spamalot' at the Playhouse Theatre.
Darren Carnall said that Bonnie, an experienced dancer who can still 'wrap her legs around her head', had to be asked to 'dumb-down' her dancing skills, as the role that she plays, Muriel Eubanks, is a novice and so it would not have been right for the role to dance so professionally.
The lead cast includes the above-mentioned Alex Gaumond and Bonnie Langford, together with Robert Lindsay (Lawrence Jameson), Katherine Kingsley (Christine Colgate), Gary Wilmot (Andre Thibault) and Lizzy Connolly (Jolene).
Synopsis: "Set on the French Riviera where the decadent world of sophisticated conman Lawrence Jameson comes crashing down with the arrival of larger-than-life Freddy Benson – a completely different type of conman. The two find themselves going head to head in the con of their lives, pulling out all of the stops in a bid for the affections Christine Colgate, a millionaire soap heiress."
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels has music/lyrics by David Yazbek and book by Jeffrey Lane, who has also directs and choreographs the show. Set and costume design is by Peter McKintosh and the producers are Ambassador Theatre Group, Jerry Mitchell Productions and Tulchin/Bartner Productions.