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Stream or tune in Friday, Nov. 6, 2020 at 8 p.m. & Sunday, Nov. 8 at 2 p.m. on KPBS 2 + Nov. 8 at Noon on KPBS

James Corden in

Credit: Courtesy of Johan Persson

Above: James Corden in "One Man, Two Guvnors" at The National Theatre, 2011.

4th Annual GREAT PERFORMANCES “Broadway’s Best” Lineup Kicks Off with Hit Comedy Starring James Corden

Starring CBS’ “The Late Late Show” host James Corden in his Tony Award-winning role, "One Man, Two Guvnors" delighted both critics and audiences during its hugely popular debut at UK’s National Theatre and its subsequent productions in London’s West End and on Broadway in 2011 and 2012.

Adapted by playwright Richard Bean from a 1743 Commedia dell’arte farce and set in the British resort town of Brighton during the Swinging ’60s, the manic plot centers on an out-of-work musician named Francis Henshall (Corden) who becomes a bodyguard-minder to Roscoe Crabbe, a petty East End crook.

Little does he know that “Roscoe” is actually his own sister, Rachel, now masquerading as her dead brother, who’s been killed by her boyfriend, Stanley Stubbers.

To complicate matters even more, when the perpetually ravenous Francis sees the chance for an extra meal ticket, he takes on a second job with Stanley, who is hiding out from the police and waiting to be reunited with Rachel.

James Corden's Argument with Himself

Francis Henshall (James Corden) has an argument with himself about balancing his two jobs, which is especially difficult when both are secrets. Airing: 11/06/20

To prevent discovery, Francis must keep his “two guvnors” apart, an increasingly difficult predicament resulting in comic mayhem, and providing Corden with the opportunity for a series of spectacular sight gags and pratfalls.

GREAT PERFORMANCES "One Man, Two Guvnors" premieres Nov. 6, 2020.

One Lunch, Two Guvnors

Francis Henshall (James Corden) attempts to serve lunch to both of his guvnors at the same time, which inevitably ends in a food fight. Airing: 11/06/20

The play features original songs performed by “The Craze” in a jazzy “skiffle” style with improvised instruments, including washboard and spoons. The band was led by Grant Olding, who also composed the music and plays guitar in the show.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Johan Persson

Claire Lams, Jemima Rooper and Suzie Toase in "One Man, Two Guvnors" at The National Theatre, 2011.

Broadway’s Best 2020 Lineup

This series features programs include smash hit comedy “One Man, Two Guvnors” starring James Corden (Nov. 6), new “Fiddler on the Roof” performance documentary (Nov. 13), beloved musical “Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn” (Nov. 20), and world premiere of “Lea Salonga in Concert” (Nov. 27)

GREAT PERFORMANCES: Broadway's Best 2020

Join us for four nights of acclaimed Broadway productions: "One Man, Two Guvnors," "Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles," "Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn," and "Lea Salonga In Concert." Airing: 11/06/20

Watch On Your Schedule:

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Join The Conversation:

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A National Theatre production, produced by David Sabel and directed for the screen by Robin Lough. Play by Richard Bean, based on “The Servant of Two Masters” by Carlo Goldoni, with songs by Grant Olding, directed for the stage by Nicholas Hytner. GREAT PERFORMANCES is produced by THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET. Bill O’Donnell is series producer and David Horn is executive producer.


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