BBC Radio 4, 20 December 2010
This short story told of Jeeves’ and Wooster’s sojourn in New York, and their efforts to help struggling
artist Bruce Corcoran escape from his uncle Alexander’s coattails. Nothing goes quite according to plan: Corcoran loves
chorus-girl Muriel, but she ends up marrying Alexander. Alexander commissions a painting of his new baby son from Corcoran,
but it eventually resembles a cartoon. As a result Corcoran seems doomed to a life of drudgery in the family jute business,
but Jeeves intervenes at the last moment and secures the artist a full-time post as cartoonist on the New York Sunday Star.
Performed as a one-person show on the stage of the Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, Martin Jarvis read
the story in a series of different voices – the silly-ass Bertie, emotionless Jeeves, daffy chorus-girl Muriel, disillusioned
juvenile Corcoran, fast-talking mobster Alexander. The reading became something of a vocal tour de force, but Jarvis understood the value of a pause in Wodehouse’s text to ensure a laugh. He also
knew how to control the laugh – on several occasions a short titter was but a prelude to a major belly-laugh as Jarvis
finished a sentence. The actor might not be a comedian by trade, but he certainly understood the importance of comic technique.