“One Man, Two Guvnors”: A Review

Lancer Theatre tackles British Comedy in "One Man, Two Guvnors"

Courtesy of Lifetouch
Lancer Theatre crew members Patrick Payne, Winta Habtemichael, Preston Cubbage, Luna Alazar, and Leah Block appear onstage.

Maysem Al-Khakani, Staff Writer

Lancer Theatre debuted One Man, Two Guvnors in a limited release production on November 16, 17, and 18. This play was a challenge for Lancer Theatre on many levels, starting from the accents to censorship issues.

One Man, Two Guvnors has a complex plot. The show is set in 1960’s England and is about a man, Francis Henshall, secretly working for 2 governors, Roscoe Crabbe and Stanley Stubbers, as their assistant. However, this is just a small component of the convoluted plot. Other plot complications include murder, romance, and different forms of con-artistry, which includes a woman disguised as her twin brother.

Lee Drama students prepared for the production in early September and instantly had to work on perfecting cockney British accents. Theatre director Shannon Lynch helped the students master difficult accents by posting tutorials on Google classroom.

Junior Leah Block (who played Charlie Clench) explained that after watching a few videos, she would practice the accents as frequently as possible, especially with her fellow castmates.

Junior Preston Cubbage (Alan Dangle) admitted to struggling with the accents. “It was hard to read the script while trying to say it with the accents because it’s something I’ve never done before, and it’s just harder. You had to think about it for the first week, but sooner or later it kind of comes to you,” Cubbage said.

Junior Luna Alazar (Pauline) also had difficulty with the accents, but she appreciated the opportunity to challenge herself with her first fall production. “The first time I was talking in an accent was really bad. But as I progressed in this play, I’ve spoken better because of how used to [the accent] I’ve gotten. Other actors were speaking in the accent, so it kinda pushed me to jump out of my comfort zone,” Alazar said.

Junior Ethan Gomes, (Francis Henshall) on the other hand, didn’t struggle with the accents as much as the other actors. “It wasn’t that bad because I actually am British, because my family is British, so I had the accent before I came here,” Gomes said.


Senior Kennedi Roland (Rachel/Roscoe Crabbe) had most difficulty not with the accents, but with her role. “I am a female actress playing a female character who is acting like her brother. So it was like a lot of different layers i had to dig through to find this character,” Roland said.

One Man Two Guvnors was one of Fairfax County’s few productions to receive a PG-13 rating, which appeared on the posters and as an announcement before the play began. This was a school and county based decision based on controversial elements in the script.

The mature content added another level of stress to the actors as they prepared for opening night.

However Block was optimistic about the the production and encouraged the Lee community to attend. “Oh, it’s gonna be good times and a lot of laughs. You’re gonna see us fumble around. There are some really lovable characters, and you’re just gonna leave the audience with a smile on your face,” Block said.

And fumble around they did. Nevertheless the production crew persisted despite the bad mood and some small on-stage mishaps.

Alazar further encouraged her classmates to attend the fall play. “Why wouldn’t you want to come and see a fall production? It’s not that expensive either, so it’s kinda like… a taste of Broadway,” Alazar said.

Despite the challenges, Lancer Theatre deserves a round of applause for pulling off great performances of One Man Two Guvnors.