Blakeson - Writer

Cardiff-based film, theatre and gig reviews, cultural ramblings, whingeing, short films, etc.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

"Morecambe"

I took an evening off from some actual work to go and see the Edinburgh/West End hit “Morecambe”, on tour at Cardiff’s New Theatre. Directed by one-man-show veteran Guy Masterson, the show is a primer not only in the career of Morecambe and Wise but also the addictive nature of the urge to perform. Basically a biographical comic monologue, supported but not overwhelmed by highly impressive sound and light design, it’s pretty much a master-class in stagecraft, with a beautifully nuanced script by Tim Whitnall (“The Hide”, the film version of his play “The Sociable Plover”, is well worth catching on its occasional TV airings) and a wonderful central performance by Bob Golding. It’s a brilliant evening’s entertainment, which never lets up comedically, even as darkness descends. Ernie Wise is represented as a ventriloquist’s dummy, which seems disrespectful on paper, but comes across as loving; and most of the references will be unfamiliar to anyone under 40, so their effectiveness was largely dependent on audience goodwill (which was plentiful), but the production’s creators are to be congratulated for avoiding the “greatest hits” approach. And they threw in some free comedy spectacles. Added to which, it being a scandalously not-sold-out first night, I got a seat upgrade worth £10, which was most welcome.

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