If you’re game for a laugh, head to the Wyndham’s Theatre for Sean Foley‘s stage adaptation of the 1951 Ealing Studios film The Man In The White Suit.
Stephen Mangan stars in this new stage adaptation of the comedy, which centres around a socially-bizarre chemistry graduate from Cambridge who has invented a new type of thread which never tears or stains – meaning you only need to buy one of everything and you won’t have to worry about laundry either!
- Soundtrack: Amélie – The Musical
- Amélie is a beautiful blend of melancholy and wistful dreams
- The Boy Friend is a trip back in time at the Menier Chocolate Factory
Despite many villagers of Trimley geeing Sidney Stratton (Stephen Mangan) on towards his dream cloth, Sidney finds himself in a tight corner once his experiments seem to have led to a truly unbreakable and untarnishable material.
The rich textiles barons are terrified that their wealth is about to vanish before their eyes, so will do anything they can to prevent the cloth from being made. On the other side of the factory-divide, the workers have realised that an indestructable material means fewer clothes will be needed… which means fewer clothes will be made… which means fewer workers to make them… which means bad news for them.
Only Kara Tointon’s terribly posh Daphne Birnley – daughter of a textile factory owner – is on Sidney’s side to the end. So much on his side, that she has fallen in love with him!
The ensemble brings the character of the Ealing Comedy to life with new songs, written by Charlie Fink – former frontman of Noah and the Whale.
I would recommend buying a programme if you go to see this show because the interviews with Fink and the writer-director Sean Foley are interesting reads.
Michael Taylor’s set design is also an undoubted star of the show, delivering the punchline of as many jokes as some of the characters.
I particularly enjoyed Daphne’s car journey, with Sidney clinging on to the outside of the car as she continues her cross-country journey nonplussed that he is swinging off the rear of her car like a scarf in the wind.
The Man in the White Suit was originally based on Roger MacDougall’s play The Flower Within The Bud, which I had never heard of before seeing this production. Perhaps it’s one to take a look at – it’s certainly led to some very entertaining theatre in its current mutated form.
This production of The Man in the White Suit opened at the Wyndham’s Theatre on 27 September 2019 and closes on 11 January 2020.
Running Time: 2 hours 15 minutes, including one 20 minute interval