facebook play-alt chevron-thin-right chevron-thin-left cancel location info chevron-thin-down star-full help-with-circle calendar images mail whatsapp directions_car directions_bike train directions_walk directions_bus close spinner11

Hound’s ripping Guvnors performance

Published 13 February 2013

There were more than sides splitting at the Theatre Royal Haymarket last night as Rufus Hound’s official opening in One Man, Two Guvnors was capped by an unofficial – and unexpected – opening in a volunteer’s trousers.

The unfortunate audience member whose clothing tore as he tried to help Hound, as lead character Frances Henshall, shift a weighty trunk, was spared too much embarrassment by the comedian’s discretionary use of a jacket, but also gave the stand-up star turned West End actor a chance to shine as he revelled in his improvisational element.

“It’s ridiculously hard work,” Hound told Official London Theatre after the curtain had come down on his charging performance. “For the whole of this run, if I’m not on my way to work, at work or on my way home from work, I’m asleep or eating. That’s the only way I can deal with it.”

The comedian, best known for his appearances on a string of TV panel shows but disconcertingly unrecognisable without his signature facial hair, has only been starring on the London stage for a week, but has toured with the production for five months.

“There’s a degree to which you always want to be the best at everything you do,” he told us as we discussed stepping into a role originated by James Corden, who received an Olivier Award nomination and won a Tony Award for his performance. “It’s very hard when you’re taking over from someone who’s won a Tony. I realised it’s a fool’s journey to try and supersede something like that. All I can do is work harder than I’ve ever worked in my life to give the best version of it that I’m capable of. Based on the feedback I’ve had so far, I feel like I can walk around with my head held high. Part of me wants to ask ‘Am I better than James Corden?’ The other part thinks… ‘Tony’.”

Hound saw Corden star as Henshall, a sacked skiffle band member who sates his mountainous hunger by taking two jobs with two guvnors, all the while keeping them apart to conceal his secret. Back then, he thought the role was one a stand-up comedian could do “standing on their head. Having done it, I know that’s not the case. He was making it look a damn sight easier than it is.”

Judging from the laughter coming from last night’s audience, which included the mad scientist of the celebrity chef world Heston Blumenthal, Peep Show’s Robert Webb and DJ Sara Cox, everyone at the Theatre Royal Haymarket thought Hound was doing a fantastic job too, even the volunteer with a wardrobe malfunction, who grinned through any bashfulness.

The hit show, which was nominated for the MasterCard Best New Play Award at last year’s Olivier Awards, first opened at the National Theatre in 2011, where it proved so popular that it transferred to both the West End and Broadway. The comedy, which sees Henshall layer lie up on lie as he attempts to cover up his dual role, continues to be one of the hottest tickets in the West End, with Hound leading a cast that also includes Olivier Award nominee Kelly Price and Benidorm’s Hugh Sachs.


Sign up

Related articles

If you click through to seat selection (where you'll see either best available or a seating plan), you will be seeing the most up-to-date prices. If this differs from what we've written on the calendar, please bear with us, as those prices will update soon.

We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.