Stephen Mangan and Matthew Macfadyen: On friendship and Jeeves and Wooster

31 Oct


‘It’s like trying to do a 1,000-piece jigsaw – you think you’ll never get it.’ Stephen Mangan is preparing to take to the West End stage as disaster-prone aristo Bertie Wooster in Perfect Nonsense, a new farce based on PG Wodehouse’s novels.

‘It’s the most ridiculously complicated plot in the history of theatre!’ he declares of the Goodale brothers’ furiously fast and funny play-within-a-play.

Fortunately, Matthew Macfadyen, playing Bertie’s unflappable valet, is on hand to bring a touch of Jeevesian calm to the situation. ‘It’s exactly like a dance,’ he says. ‘It’s more about having it in your body, a physical memory.’

If you’re going to form a double act with someone, it’s probably a good idea to do it with a friend. Mangan and Macfadyen have known one another for almost 20 years, having been at Rada at the same time and previously worked together on productions of Much…

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