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Jeeves & Wooster hotfoot it from the West End to Newcastle

John Gordon Sinclair and James Lance are to star as PG Wodehouse creations Jeeves and Wooster

John Gordon Sinclair as Jeeves and James Lance as Bertie Wooster
John Gordon Sinclair as Jeeves and James Lance as Bertie Wooster

It isn’t very often that we hail the imminent arrival in our midst of perfect nonsense but we have to make an exception for Jeeves and Wooster.

Due on stage at the Theatre Royal in the autumn – well, let’s make that imminent(ish) – is the West End Jeeves & Wooster hit, Perfect Nonsense.

This is a new play based on and adapted from the short stories and novels of PG Wodehouse by brothers Robert and David Goodale.

It will leave London on the crest of a wave, having just picked up the Olivier Award as best new comedy.

It is extraordinary to think that hapless Bertie Wooster and his all-knowing, multi-tasking valet Jeeves first made their print appearance when the First World War was at its height.

If that war, despite the current commemorations, seems sepia-toned, Jeeves & Wooster remain as fresh as a pair of daisies. That owes everything to the genius of Wodehouse.

In the touring theatre show James Lance will play Bertie and John Gordon Sinclair will be Jeeves.

Both are popular and well-known comedy actors. Lance has appeared on TV in Smack the Pony and I’m Alan Partridge while Gordon Sinclair probably gets sick of being reminded that he starred in Bill Forsyth’s 1981 footie film, Gregory’s Girl (but both he and it were/are brilliant).

Co-writer Robert Goodale also does acting duties, playing the part of Seppings.

He and his brother, we learn, grew up enjoying their own particular brand of humour which, they later realised, was not a million miles away from that of Wodehouse, undisputed master of the genre in which he moved with seemingly effortless ease.

While Robert became an actor, David made a living as a documentary film-maker. But their shared sense of humour remained with them.

Two years ago they were encouraged to combine their comic talents to adapt the Wodehouse tale The Code of the Woosters for the stage.

This, created with the blessing of the Wodehouse Estate, is the result.

It is set, as was the Wodehousian way, during a country house weekend with the action hinging on the proposed theft of a silver cow creamer.

Billed as “an evening of raucous comedy, theatrical absurdity and ridiculous antics”, the production, directed by Sean Foley, will be at the Theatre Royal from October 14-18. Box office: 08448 112121.

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