Jeeves and Wooster made their first appearance in the 1915 short story Extricating Young Gussie. The timeless duo have appeared on television in the 60’s and 90’s and numerous radio adaptations but as yet have yet to grace the stage. Stephen Mangan has been announced as the endearingly incompetent Bertie Wooster and Spooks star Matthew Macfadyen is set to play his brilliant, unflappable butler.
Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, arguably one of the great comedy couples of the century, bought the show to life with 4 seasons of Jeeves and Wooster in the 90’s. Most of the theatregoers today will undoubtedly judge the stage performance against the Fry and Laurie so they have big boots to fill but Mangan and Macfadyen seem unfazed. Green Wing star Mangan said of the show "I'm really hugely excited. Matthew and I are old friends, so hopefully we can bring some chemistry. I had never read any Wodehouse; it was one of those things I was always intending to do. When I finally started it was like crack cocaine, they are so full of wit and joy and ridiculously good writing, I couldn't put them down.”
The new play, which has the blessing of the Wodehouse Estate, is based on the 1938 PG Wodehouse novel The Code of the Woosters, considered by many to rank amongst his best works. PG Wodehouse is recognised as one of the great humourists of the 20th Century. He wrote more than 90 novels and more than 300 short stories in career that spanned more than 70 years.
The play will open at the Duke of York's Theatre on 30 October after short runs at Richmond Theatre and the Brighton Theatre Royal.