REVIEW: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, until November 28.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels proves just as irresistible on stage as it did on film.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

You probably won’t come away humming any of the songs. They are just not strong enough. And this touring version just doesn’t quite have the sparkle of the London production earlier this year.

But there are plenty of laughs and some strong performances in a thoroughly-entertaining night out at the theatre.

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Michael Praed steps into the Michael Caine shoes which were worn by Robert Lindsay in London and probably doesn’t have quite the charisma of either. But he’s still good value as the conman, easily, slightly joylessly fleecing the rich in an upmarket French resort.

And then along comes Noel Sullivan as Freddy, a player Lawrence sniffily dismisses as being in a far lower league... until they open battle for supremacy, little knowing they’re both the biggest dupes around.

Sullivan’s creation of brother Rupprecht and a disabled, lovesick serviceman is priceless; Praed snaps his heels nicely as a dodgy therapist as he ups his own game. Meanwhile, Carley Stenson is spot on as Christine, the prize and the victim they’ve set themselves.

Great fun from first to last.

Phil Hewitt

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