British playwright Richard Bean's comedy One Man, Two Guvnors adapts the 18th century commedia dell'arte work The Servant of Two Masters to tell the tale of manservant Francis Henshall, who agrees to work for a local gangster and a criminal in hiding but struggles to keep track of their schemes and romantic entanglements. The cast recording features all 15 of the play's songs, performed by director Nicholas Hytner's frequent collaborator, composer/lyricist Grant Olding, and house band the Craze along with the original National Theatre cast. Set in swinging '60s England when rock, pop, and jazz mingled, music was an important component to the production, which paid homage to the Kinks ("The Ballad of Ted and Calista," "Strung Out Dolly") and Woody Guthrie ("My Old Man's a Gannet"), and also employed skiffle-style unexpected musical instruments (bicycle horns, washboards) and found objects (a fellow actor's torso).
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AllMusic Review by Chrysta Cherrie
|One Man, Two Guvnors|