Sean Foley’s Jeeves & Wooster Perfect Nonsense has been recast and, undoubtedly, it will elicit the same enthusiastic responses as the prior team.

Previously played by Mathew Macfayden, Jeeves, the straight-lipped butler, is now in the equally capable hands of Mark Heap, best-known for playing Dr. Alan Statham on Green Wing. His ability to swiftly transition from character to character in a whirlwind of intentional mayhem was awe-inspiring. Truly, he is a master of transformation. In one instance, he managed to simultaneously play a stern male figure and a coquettish female in a succinct dialogue, rendering Robert Webb into a spasm of laughter (perhaps he is more used to the security blanket of a blooper reel).

Webb is another familiar face from the television having reached great cult status alongside comedy partner David Mitchell. The boyish charm of Webb, coupled with his obvious adoration for a live audience, was a winning combination.

The play itself is chaotic, unintelligible and erratic. Of course, none of this matters in the slightest. As a farce it succeeds. The essence of fun is derived from the set up that Wooster, a loveable toff, is re-telling an anecdote by acting it out. His pantomime emphasis of this point built up a rapport with the audience. Wooster employs Jeeves and Seppings (Mark Hadfield) to assist in re-enacting the amusingly trivial story. Using Verfremdungseffekt to a limit that Brecht himself would be proud of, the characters move the set themselves, acknowledge costume changes and interact directly with the audience in a charming manner throughout the performance. One scene of particular hilarity was the ‘slow motion’ sequence the trio accomplished by wrestling with a cow creamer in the first act; a combination of strobe lighting, sloth-like movement, and exaggerated facial expressions was surprisingly powerful.

Perfect Nonsense definitely deserves praise, however, it was not without flaws. Mark Hadfield was hilarious in many of his manifestations, however, a few of them really fell flat; some were too abrasive, some too familiar and other were void of humour. Kudos should be given for pushing the physical comedy aspect of the play, but it was hit and miss. Delivery or even luck may have played a hand in this, or perhaps sometimes a character just does not work.

All in all, the play was a completely nonsensical joy with mass appeal. This West End comedy embraced the opportunity to play around with amateur theatrics with a keen sense of fun that made for entertaining viewing.

Perfect Nonsense is playing at the Duke of York Theatre until 20 September. For more information and tickets, see the ATG Tickets website.