The Cambridge Geek

Jeeves Live

I think I'd best confess up front that I'm one of those philistines who haven't read the original Wodehouse. I found my way to the Jeeves stories via the excellent "Jeeves and Wooster", rather obviously because of my fondness for Fry and Laurie. I can still bring to mind the jolly theme tune with a moment's thought. In fact, go and have a quick listen to it. I'll wait.

Back? Goodoh. Having started off with an adaptation, I've enjoyed other versions ever since, but I've only now come to these presentations by Martin Jarvis. These are essentially a relatively straight reading, with Jarvis giving voice to the full cast of characters with his usual impressive range.

This particular episode features Bertie's troubles with someone else's aunt for a change, namely the relative of one Todd Rockmeteller, who has decided to live vicariously through him by the power and control of a small allowance. (He's a poet, and so is incapable of earning a living wage.)

Unfortunately, this aunt wants a much more exciting life than the contemplative (not a euphemism for "lazy", honest) Todd and so he is driven to the ever-resourceful Jeeves to keep him in his sedentary lifestyle. However will Jeeves solve this problem of an interfering aunt? That's such a new and novel problem that it will require all of his mental strength. (And possibly the Riker manoeuvre. Seriously, go look back at that picture.)

Naturally, being Wodehouse, this is very funny. I was a bit ashamed to realise there'd already been two series of this that I've missed, so I might have to go hunt those down. Jarvis is a wonderful reader, with spot on comic timing and the ability to add a little sarcastic nuance as required.

Unfortunately there's only two per series, so I might have to give this one a re-listen. While this "live" version, presented in front of a audience has a certain charm of its own, a bit of research told me that Jarvis has luckily done a number of studio readings, such as these.

Highly recommended.

Tagged: Radio Comedy Monologue Fiction Adaptation