Review - Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at Leeds Grand Theatre

This enjoyable musical, based on the popular 1988 film which starred with Steve Martin and Michael Caine, doesn’t demand a great deal of its audience, it’s simply a great piece of theatre with a decent storyline, superb choreography and a very clever set.

Lawrence (Michael Praed) and Teddy( Noel Sullivan) are a couple of chalk-and-cheese conmen operating on the French Riviera who have a bet to see who can swindle the American heiress Christine Colgate (Carley Stenson) out of $50,000. Lawrence is a suave and sophisticated narcissist while Freddy is a coarse and vulgar pleasure-seeker. They are aided in their deceptions by the police chief Andre Thibault (a superb Mark Benton) who has a real comic talent and, especially in the second act, is the undoubted star of the show.

Praed is well cast as Lawrence, although his voice falters at times during some of the more complex musical numbers; Sullivan acts as well as he sings and the two have a great on-stage relationship that is wholly believable. Stenson has a beautiful voice and her solo number Here I Am is particularly memorable.

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The talented ensemble cast of singers and dancers include a couple of individuals worthy of special mention: Jolene (Phoebe Coupe) the gun slinging Oklahoma girl who sets her cap at Lawrence and Emma Caffrey as the singing usherette.

Transferring such a highly successful and popular film to the stage is fraught with difficulties but the cast and crew of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels have done a fabulous job and fans of the film won’t be disappointed

The show runs at Leeds Grand Theatre until Saturday July 4.

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