Full Synopsis

By Jeeves

About to give a charity banjo performance, Bertram Wooster discovers his banjo has been “stolen” and replaced with a frying pan. With a call out for a replacement, his butler Jeeves suggests he instead recall one of his adventures with what props are available…

 

Bertie, under the assumed name of Gussie Fink-Nottle, is facing Judge Watkyn Bassett having knocked a policeman’s helmet off. He is sentenced but problems immediately arise. The real Gussie appears at Bertie’s flat, pronouncing his love for Madeline, daughter of Bassett. To impress Bassett, he has taken Bertie’s name and pretended to be the owner of the flat.

 

Just to complicate matters, Basset also has a ward, Stephanie “Stiffy” Byng, who wants Bertie to help her romance with The Revd Harold “Stinker” Pinker. As Bertie has failed to respond, Stiffy has announced in The Times she is engaged to Bertie.

 

In a bid to prevent disaster and Bassett reading The Times, Bertie decides to go to Bassett’s home, Totleigh Towers. Driving to the Towers, he picks up his friend Bingo Little and his intended love, Honoria Glossop, along the way. Honoria and Bertie were once an item to the annoyance of Bingo, who believes Honoria still holds a flame for Bertie. At the Towers, they meet Bassett’s guest, the American Cyrus Budge III—who also has eyes on Madeline—and just to confuse matters, Bertie introduces himself as Bingo Little and Bingo is introduced as Gussie…

 

At the end of the first act, Bertie is also Gussie and Bingo; Bingo is Gussie; Gussie is Bertie; Stiffy is “engaged” to Bertie, but loves Stinker; Honoria fancies Bertie, but is loved by Bingo; Gussie longs for Madeline, but is afraid of Cyrus who also wants Madeline’s affections. Everything is about to get much more confused…

 

Bertie decides to talk to Madeline on Gussie’s behalf, but she misinterprets his words and believes Bertie has declared his love for her. Gussie is enraged. Honoria has also proclaimed her love for Bertie, much to Bingo’s annoyance. The only woman apparently not interested in Bertie is Stiffy, who is “engaged” to him.

 

With Bertie being blamed for everyone’s woes, Stiffy comes up with a daring and risky plan. If only for Bertie. He will pretend to be a burglar, who will be thwarted by Stinker, thus putting the latter in a good light.

 

Bertie climbs a ladder—also intending to stop Bassett reading his Times—but enters the wrong room and, wearing and unable to remove a pig mask, is hunted through Totleigh Towers. Chaos erupts until Cyrus is accidentally knocked out by Stinker and becomes entangled in a fountain with Bertie. With Bertie’s identity as the cad and burglar about to be revealed, Jeeves steps in as deus ex machina, pauses the action, spins the fountain round and instead Cyrus is unmasked as the thief and cad.

 

Furthermore during the hunt through the house, the correct people have ended up with the correct partners much to everyone’s satisfaction. Stinker is with Stiffy, Gussie is reunited with Madeline and Bingo is now with Honoria. Bassett has also been relieved of his copy of The Times. No-one believes this state of affairs has anything whatsoever to do with Bertie’s actions and he has done little to help the situation.

 

The tale over, a banjo—muted unknown to Bertie—arrives and there is time for a final unique rendition of Banjo Boy.

Copyright: Simon Murgatroyd