Preview | One Man, Two Guvnors - About

Fourth Annual Great Performances “Broadway’s Best” Lineup Kicks Off with Hit Comedy One Man, Two Guvnors Starring James Corden

 The Tony Award-winning comedy premieres Friday, November 6 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), pbs.org/broadwayonpbs and the PBS Video app

Synopsis

Starring CBS’ “The Late Late Show host James Corden in his Tony Award-winning role, One Man, Two Guvnors delighted both critics and audiences during its hugely popular debut at UK’s National Theatre and its subsequent productions in London’s West End and on Broadway in 2011 and 2012. Adapted by playwright Richard Bean from a 1743 Commedia dell’arte farce and set in the British resort town of Brighton during the Swinging ’60s, the manic plot centers on an out-of-work musician named Francis Henshall (Corden) who becomes a bodyguard-minder to Roscoe Crabbe, a petty East End crook. Little does he know that “Roscoe” is actually his own sister, Rachel, now masquerading as her dead brother, who’s been killed by her boyfriend, Stanley Stubbers. To complicate matters even more, when the perpetually ravenous Francis sees the chance for an extra meal ticket, he takes on a second job with Stanley, who is hiding out from the police and waiting to be reunited with Rachel. To prevent discovery, Francis must keep his “two guvnors” apart, an increasingly difficult predicament resulting in comic mayhem, and providing Corden with the opportunity for a series of spectacular sight gags and pratfalls. Great Performances: One Man, Two Guvnors premieres Friday, November 6 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings), pbs.org/broadwayonpbs and the PBS Video app.

Notable Talent

  • James Corden, Tony-winning actor, host of CBS’ “The Late Late Show
  • Tom Edden, Tony-nominated for his performance as Alfie
  • Richard Bean, playwright
  • Grant Olding, Tony-nominated composer
  • Nicholas Hytner, two-time Tony-winning director
  • David Horn, Executive Producer of Great Performances

Noteworthy Facts

  • One Man, Two Guvnors originally opened at the National Theatre in 2011, with a West End opening later that same year, before moving to Broadway in April 2012.
  • The play features original songs performed by “The Craze” in a jazzy “skiffle” style with improvised instruments, including washboard and spoons. The band was led by Grant Olding, who also composed the music and plays guitar in the show.

Short TV Listing

Revel in this 1960s-era comedy featuring a Tony-winning hilarious performance by James Corden.

Long TV Listing

Revel in this 1960s-era comedy featuring a Tony-winning performance by James Corden. Adapted from a 1743 farce, Corden plays a musician-turned-bodyguard trying to keep his two mobster clients apart, a tricky predicament resulting in comic mayhem.

Series Overview

Throughout its more than 40-year history on PBS, Great Performances has provided an unparalleled showcase of the best in all genres of the performing arts, serving as America’s most prestigious and enduring broadcaster of cultural programming. The series is available for streaming simultaneously on all station-branded PBS platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video app, which is available on iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Chromecast. PBS station members can view episodes via Passport (contact your local PBS station for details).

Production Credits

Great Performances: One Man, Two Guvnors is a National Theatre production, produced by David Sabel and directed for the screen by Robin Lough. Play by Richard Bean, based on “The Servant of Two Masters” by Carlo Goldoni, with songs by Grant Olding, directed for the stage by Nicholas Hytner. Great Performances is produced by THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET. Bill O’Donnell is series producer and David Horn is executive producer.

Underwriters

Major funding for “Broadway’s Best” on Great Performances is provided by The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, Rosalind P. Walter, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, Seton J. Melvin, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, Jody and John Arnhold, The Starr Foundation, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, the Thea Petschek Iervolino Foundation, The Abra Prentice Foundation, Ruth and Harold Newman, the Merle and Shirley Harris Fund, Ellen and James S. Marcus and PBS.

Websites:

http://www.pbs.org/gperf, http://www.facebook.com/GreatPerformances, @GPerfPBS #GreatPerformancesPBS #BroadwayOnPBS

Transcript Print

Francis Henshall: Let me help you with that!

Alfie: Ahhhh!

If you like to laugh get ready for one of Broadway's Tony-winning Best Actors, James Corden in his breakout, star-making role as a bloke working for two bosses.

For a happy, slapstick, great good time join this sensational cast of zanies.

FH: I could really use a hand up here. Will you come with me?

When James Corden stars in the hilarious, 'One Man, Two Guvnors.'

♪ I'm only one man but I've got two guvnors ♪ On 'Great Performances.'