It is the second time I have seen this show this year - I saw the SODS version back in April - and despite it being the same show, it was like watching a different show.
Whilst the SODS version had rather fancy projections and was on perhaps a grander scale (as it was at the Palace Theatre in Southend), the Brentwood version easily matched it with talent and execution, well done to director Louise Byrne for making this version of DRS Brentwood's own.
Playing the lead male roles were Martin Harris as Lawrence Jameson and Allister Smith as Freddy Benson, and they were supported by Ian Southgate as Andre Thibault. The lead female role of Christine Colgate was played by Kate Henderson, with Lisa Harris in the supporting role of Muriel Eubanks and Katy Evans as Jolene Oakes.
Each of these named characters played their roles excellently.
Martin played the swath Jameson well, but came into his own when playing Dr Schuffhausen. His accent, costume and mannerisms all came together in a excellent execution of comedic acting. The feather / horse whip scene was simply hilarious. Allister, who excels in comedy roles, played the brash Freddy with, some might say, surprising ease and believability as the uncouth character. Ian played Andre with a degree of sophistication, his deadpan approach to the comedy in the character was well delivered too. Kate's interpretation of Christine was brilliant, I have not seen her perform before, but I was mightily impressed. Lisa was every bit the sophisticated, if a little annoying, woman on the look out for a man. Finally, Katy's Jolene was every bit the Oklahoma cow girl. Her whoops and giggles were well used and effective.
The other 20 members of the cast made up the plethora of other characters including hotel staff, nuns, sailors and flirtatious maids - with some cast members doubling (and possibly even trebling) up on roles.
With regards to the music, as this was a musical after all, I was mightily impressed with the singing throughout - it doesn't appear to be an easy sing but the MD for the show, Max Harris (any relation to Martin and Lisa I wonder?), got the company singing well and obviously put together an excellent band.
Musical highlights for me included Great Big Stuff, Here I Am, Love is My Legs and Love Sneaks In.
Acting highlights within musical numbers for me included Oklahoma, Ruprecht and Here I Am.
Dancing highlights within musical numbers for me included Great Big Stuff, Oklahoma, Here I Am, Like Zis, Like Zat and The More We Dance.
A special mention has to go to the ghost in the hotel room who decided to knock the lamp off the table - I don't know how it happened, but well done to Kate and Allister who did not let it detract from their scene.
I would also like to mention the continued use of background action by the various member of the company - in the hotel, in the church, in the casino - all of which added to the authenticity of the performance.
Brentwood's Dirty Rotten Scoundrels was fun to watch, full of amazing characterisations, sensational singing and at times laugh out loud funny.
Well done to all.
Brentwood's next show is to be Spamalot in May 2018.