Thank You, Jeeves (1936) and Step Lively, Jeeves! (1937) movie posters

Wodehouse News: movie reviews, Slapstick festival & a Japanese stage adaptation

A Sunday triple-bill for Wodehouse fans.

Jeeves and The Hollywood Way

For Golden Age of Hollywood fans, the Grand Old Movies blog is well worth following, and this week they’ve added the pleasures of Wodehouse into the mix. ‘Jeeves and The Hollywood Way’ looks at the two Jeeves movies starring Arthur Treacher, Thank You, Jeeves! (1936) and Step Lively, Jeeves ! (1937). The writer is sound on Wodehouse, so there’s no need to add my 2 cents worth on the subject. Highly recommended.

Wodehouse discussion at the Slapstick Festival

Next, it’s Book Shambles Podcast: a live recording from the Bristol Old Vic panel discussion (Robin Ince, Prof Sophie Ratcliffe and Joanna Neary) at the recent Slapstick Festival. The Wodehouse discussion starts about 13 minutes in.

The discussion has had mixed reviews from Wodehouse enthusiasts, but I was pleased to hear the panelists highlight the ‘oomph’ of his female characters, and challenge the popular misconception that Wodehouse appeals mainly to men.

Takarazuka Revue production of Oh, Kay!

And finally, some exciting news from Tamaki Morimura, who is well known to Wodehouse fans for her work translating Wodehouse into Japanese (as well as being a thoroughly good egg).

The all female Takarazuka Revue company will be performing Nice Work If You Can Get It, an adaptation of the 1926 musical Oh, Kay! by George and Ira Gershwin (music and lyrics), Guy Bolton, and P.G. Wodehouse (book).

It’s a fascinating combination. Perhaps it’s time for my first trip to Japan.

Happy viewing!


10 thoughts on “Wodehouse News: movie reviews, Slapstick festival & a Japanese stage adaptation

  1. Hi Honoria! Thank you for all of the “plum” selections. I will definitely check them out.

    I had never considered before how Wodehouse’s works might translate into other languages. I just assumed they wouldn’t as much of the word-play and humor relies heavily on the language and culture of Britain at that particular time. I would love to hear how Japanese audiences react to a Wodehouse story translated into Japanese.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What ho, Biffy!
      Wodehouse has been translated into more languages than I can count (I tried, but gave up). My multilingual friends who’ve read Wodehouse in more than one language tell me some translations are better than others. The good ones are reportedly very good.
      The Japanese translations are quite popular, increasingly so, after the Empress of Japan said she wanted to read more Wodehouse. There has even been a Manga edition.
      The translator Tamaki Morimura is a long-time Wodehouse fan. She has attended Wodehouse conventions and consulted experts like the late Norman Murphy for advice when writing/ researching the books.
      Similarly, the ‘Modern Dutch’ translator Leonard Beuger is another active Wodehouse fan and I’m told his translations are top notch.
      But I believe you’re right to wonder about the language and cultural references in Wodehouse — they are increasingly lost on English speaking readers as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for all of the wonderful information, Honoria! I had no idea. I envy those people who get to discover Wodehouse for the first time, in whatever language. I remember what a wonderful moment that was for me! And I’m always so thrilled when someone else gets to experience it as well.

        My personal belief is that Wodehouse’s popularity will wax and wane, but it will never completely disappear. The appeal of his world is simply too great, and people will always want to escape there!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. We are indeed! It’s always a joy to find a twin soul. Wodehouse would be so thrilled to know how many people he has brought together in joy since he began writing.


  2. Yes, thank you Mrs Plum. The Takarazuka revue seems to be one of those things that could only be Japanese. I mean, in the West, we go in the opposite direction — men dressed as women. The women-as-men thing gets tried every now and then but fails to attract audiences, whereas Takarazuka . . . wow! I think I’ll take mine straight. And the discussion of the old so-called Jeeves movies brings to the forefront again a topic discussed here many times– the difficulty of translating PGW to movies and TV. The old boy managed to translate from stage to page all right but going the other way has proved harder (those done by Plum himself notwithstanding).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Noel.
      There have been some good adaptations so I remain hopeful, but then I’m also the sort of mindless optimist who sometimes buys lottery tickets.
      On an unrelated note, I was thinking of you yesterday. I have just started rereading A Gentleman of Leisure and your club gets an endorsement on the very first page.


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