A charming musical tale of a poker faced serial killer with tongue-in-cheek lyrics, fast-paced direction by Darko Tresnjak and a star-making performance from character actor John Rapson, makes Mirvish Productions’ A Gentleman’s Guide To Love and Murder a must-see theatre run at the Princess of Wales Theatre in Toronto.
A Gentleman’s Guide trailer
Based on the 1907 novel Israel Rank: The Autobiography of a Criminal by Roy Horniman, that was earlier turned in the 1949 Alec Guiness film “Kind Hearts and Coronets,” A Gentleman’s Guide… is the story of the unexpectedly ambitious and cold-blooded underdog Monty Navarro (Kevin Massey) who learns that his beloved late mother was heartlessly disinherited by the wealthy, aristocratic family D’Ysquith and quite calmly decides to pop off the eight ahead of him in line to become the Earl of Highhurst.
It is quite cleverly and hilariously done, how Monty manages to secure the murder of each of his relatives, all of whom are played brilliantly by 28-year-old actor Rapson. Yes, even the women! Our personal favourite had to be his encouragement to send Lady Hyacinth to dangerous places abroad, where she someone manages to escape life-threatening situations … each and every time.
While Monty is truly becoming a master of murder, he remains steadily in love with Sibella Hallward (Kristen Beth Williams) – even while she marries another – and courts successfully his own cousin Phoebe D’Ysquith (Adrienne Eller), both of whom he loves in different ways.
Marketing along King Street West, right by the theatre
The songs are just marvelous with a special highlight being “I Don’t Understand the Poor” performed by Rapson as Lord Adalbert, which truly reminds the audience not to take anything in this farce seriously.
The set is very well made by Alexander Dodge and subtly transforms to all different locales and well, murder spots!
A Gentleman’s Guide… is playing throughout the month at Princess of Wales Theatre, Toronto. Tickets are available online or at the box office.