Matthew Macfadyen and Stephen Mangan will star as literary legends Jeeves and Bertie Wooster in a new comedy based on the much-loved works of P.G. Wodehouse at the Duke of York’s theatre later this year.
Perfect Nonsense will open at the West End playhouse on 12 November (previews from 30 October) and bring Wodehouse’s famously barmy characters to life on stage in a production directed by Sean Foley, well-known for his work on the equally eccentric Olivier Award nominated The Ladykillers.
Adapted from Wodehouse’s The Code Of The Woosters by sibling writing duo Robert and David Goodale, Perfect Nonsense will see Mangan play the charmingly incompetent Bertie Wooster with Macfadyen in the role of his unflappable, discerning valet Jeeves.
BAFTA award-winning Spooks actor Macfadyen described the play as “an absolute hoot,” commenting, “I am delighted to be a part of it. I’m also especially pleased to be working again with the supremely talented Messrs Mangan and Foley.”
Said Messr number one, who is well-known for his on screen roles including Green Wing and Episodes, said: “I am ridiculously excited at the prospect of playing the mentally negligible Bertie Wooster on stage and can hardly wait to stagger into the glorious sunshine of Wodehouse’s world. And with Jeeves, in the shape of Matthew Macfadyen by my side, what could possibly go wrong?”
While both actors are well-known faces from their frequent television appearances, they are both no strangers to the London stage. Mangan returns following his recent appearance in Birthday at the Royal Court theatre, while Macfadyen boasts credits including Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 at the National Theatre and Private Lives at the Vaudeville theatre.
Perfect Nonsense’s director Foley commented on the casting, saying: “Fortunately, in a show where casting really is everything, I am thrilled to invite Matthew Macfadyen to give us his Jeeves, and Stephen Mangan to show us his Wooster… We all aim to create a wonderful, funny evening in the theatre that will leave existing fans of Wodehouse, and a new generation of enthusiasts, positively gruntled.”
More than 35 Jeeves And Wooster books were published between 1917 and 1966, with the quintessential English double act immortalised by Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry in the popular 1990s ITV series.
Perfect Nonsense will arrive in London following a short regional tour and play at the venue following Passion Play, which will finish its acclaimed run on 8 August.