Open air theatre at West Dean Gardens: Butler Jeeves serves up a feast of fun

The world of entertainment is dominated by great double acts – Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, Morecambe and Wise and, of course, Jeeves and Wooster.

Consequently, the title ‘Come on Jeeves’ suggests that both might be about to appear at one of the region’s finest open air theatres at West Dean Gardens, near Chichester.

But this souffle light treat by creator PG Wodehouse and Guy Bolton serves up just Jeeves – or rather, Jeeves the ultimate butler serves it up.

Fear not! Even if Bertie Wooster has gone awol, the magnificent Jeeves (Dennis Harrison) has lost none of his fastidious skill – not least in extricating his master from the most uncomfortable of predicaments.

James Woodley Marian Mountain Dennis Harrison Sarah-Jayne-Steed and Michaela Cooke in ‘Come On Jeeves’

Those predicaments abound.

Wodehouse littered his novels with aristocrats who hadn’t an ounce of sense between them and this production featuring Lord and Lady Carmoyle (James Woodley and Marian Mountain), the Earl of Towcester (David Young) and the fearsome Captain Bigger (Stephen Jupp) does not disappoint on that measure.

What a terrific ensemble.

Confusion reigns – along with a mysterious ghost.

You will find productions of this with more lavish sets, but none with a finer setting.

And while Wodehouse might creak a little these days, in these accomplished hands – full of fun, fervour and good humour – you are guaranteed a cheering evening’s entertainment.

Special praise for a flawless performance from Sarah-Jayne Steed as Jill and Michaela Cooke as the remarkable Mrs Spottsworth who is encouraged to buy a decrepit mansion but acquires a potential husband into the bargain.