Nicholas Hytner (Carousel, The History Boys, Miss Saigon) directs the comedy that will feature original star James Corden leading the National company with his acclaimed performance as Francis Henshall, the ravenously-hungry "one man" (as in servant) of the title. The music-filled play (featuring an on-stage band with original songs by Grant Olding) had a sold-out run at the National, a later U.K. tour and is currently playing 16 weeks in London's West End.
In One Man, Two Guvnors, the "always-famished and easily-confused" Francis Henshall works for a local gangster as well as a criminal in hiding (the "two guvnors"), "both of whom are linked in a tangled web of schemes and romantic associations...none of which Francis can keep straight," according to the producers. "So he has to do everything in his power to keep his two guvnors from meeting while trying to eat anything in sight along the way. Simple."
Expect "falling trousers, flying fish heads, star-crossed lovers, cross-dressing mobsters and a fabulous on-stage band."
The play is inspired by Italian writer Goldoni's 1740s comedy that borrowed stock characters and conventions from commedia dell'arte, the improv-rich theatrical genre from the Italian Renaissance.
The creative team for One Man, Two Guvnors includes Mark Thompson (set and costumes), Cal McCrystal (physical comedy director), Mark Henderson (lights) and Paul Arditti (sound). James Corden appeared in The History Boys at the National Theatre, on Broadway and on international tour; A Respectable Wedding at the Young Vic; and Martin Guerre in the West End.
Playwright Richard Bean's plays include England People Very Nice for the National, The Heretic, Harvest (winner of the 2006 Critics' Circle Award for Best New Play), Honeymoon Suite, Under the Whaleback and Toast for the Royal Court and The Big Fellah for Out of Joint at the Lyric Hammersmith and on tour. He adapted David Mamet's House of Games and wrote a new version of The Hypochondriac for the Almeida Theatre.
One Man, Two Guvnors will be produced on Broadway by Bob Boyett and the National Theatre of Great Britain.
Tickets will be available to the general public beginning Dec. 20 by calling Telecharge.com at (212) 239-6200 or (800) 432-7250 or online at www.Telecharge.com. Ticket prices range from $26.50-126.50.