From entanglements to entertainment. The beloved Jeeves is back!
Devotees and newbies, welcome to another madcap Chemainus Theatre Festival production featuring the work of British author P. G. Wodehouse. This fall, we bring you Jeeves Intervenes, a terrific episode in the thematic series about the unlikely duo of doddering, trouble-finding Bertie Wooster, and his save-the-day valet, Jeeves.
How much mischief can these two characters get into, and out of? There seems no end or answer to that question. Wodehouse produced thirty-five short stories and ten full-length novels about their wacky adventures together, each a fresh and familiar jaunt designed to accentuate the varied notions of friendship. The characters first emerged in magazine short stories in the 1910’s, and were published during periods of economic depression, war, and political and social upheaval. Through his series, Wodehouse presents the idea that the trials of external forces may be overcome by the longevity of human bonds, and a good dose of humour.
“What’s brilliant about Wodehouse’s writing”, says artistic director, Mark DuMez, “is the world he creates. He constructs a place to step outside reality for a moment and delight in a little absurdity.”
What Jeeves foregoes in epiphanies is more than made up for in buoyant entertainment (qualities said to be attributed to the author himself). Do not be fooled by the lightness of tone, however; the story is also rich with understated meaning. Amid the tomfoolery of the tale is a warm relationship between Bertie and Jeeves, a connection between the old allies that highlights the great assurance of friendship.
“With an indisputable charm,” suggests DuMez, “the Jeeves stories remind us that friends and family provide a timeless connection we can count on – quirks and all.”
It’s in this eccentric way that Jeeves Intervenes delights audiences. Confirmed bachelor Bertram Wilberforce Wooster and his old school chum Eustace Bassington are both desperate to escape their high-society fate – for “Bertie” an undesired marriage to Gertrude, and for “Bassy” an unwanted job in India (which he’d happily trade for Gertrude’s hand at the altar). To save themselves they must enact an outrageous scheme of deception and disguise. But before the duo can dodge the traps of meddling Aunt Agatha and Uncle Rupert, their plan spins wildly out of control. Only the quick-witted manservant Jeeves has a chance to rescue these bumbling fools from their unfortunate futures.
We hope you enjoy Jeeves Intervenes and thank you for taking the time away from sometimes-senseless reality for a gag that never spoils. Amid modish slang, shrewd insinuations, gratuitous abbreviations, bewildering metaphors, and delightfully lavish description, we invite you to let your imagination run wild as our wonderful cast and crew Intervene!