Review: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Opera House, Manchester

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.

Give Them What They Want says the opening song in this musical adaptation of the hit movie.

And the UK premiere of the show does just that, not least with the dream pairing of Robert Lindsay and Rufus Hound as the two con-men duelling for dishonour in the Riviera sun.

They reprise the roles of Michael Caine and Steve Martin from the cinema film and give much more than mere mimickry. But then this is a show that delights and surprises at nearly every turn.

The American trio of director and choreographer Jerry Mitchell, Jeffrey Lane (book) and David Yazbek (music and lyrics) have fashioned a production faithful to the spirit of the original and fused it with nearly 20 suitably scoundrel-like songs, deliciously droll or sometime downright dirty.

The script even allows Samantha Bond one or two killer lines she would not risk within shooting distance of Downton Abbey.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is bright, light and colourful, but above all it’s very funny.

Why wait for it to become a big London hit when you can catch it here before Saturday?

David Upton