Venue: York Theatre Royal, June 3
Eric Morecambe is a hero to many, a legend to most, and now the subject of the eponymous show Morecambe, currently running at York Theatre Royal.
I must confess (I seem to be doing that a lot recently), that I saw Morecambe when it premiered in 2011. I loved it then, but would I love it now, being a different production?
The fact that Bob Golding had returned to play Eric was a big factor in me wanting to see this show. His performance is more than just an (admittedly accurate) impression of a man beloved by so many.
After the first minute it ceases to be an impression, he just inhabits the spirit and physicality of Eric, portraying him perfectly.
In fact, Golding plays every part, from Eric’s mum and dad, through to other performers and agents in what is a physical tour de force.
It doesn’t matter that the gags are (mostly) older than me. I laughed heartily all the way through and I shed a tear at least twice.
This production tells a version of the story we all know, but tells it freshly and warmly and with a real affection. It doesn’t hurt having Eric’s son Gary Morecambe as associate producer either.
This new staging of Morecambe has taken a step up in its production values. Last time the entire set was a sofa; this time we are treated to a mini stage within a stage and some extra props for physical gags.
Golding changes outfit roughly every five minutes and the mini puppet version of Ernie Wise is tremendous, as you go through over 40 years of Eric and Ernie together in under two hours.
The music and lighting are simple, yet very effective at allowing Golding’s performance to shine.
I left the Theatre Royal wanting to go home and YouTube old Morecambe & Wise sketches, with a warm and fuzzy feeling, having celebrated the life of a truly great comic.
If you need sunshine brought back into your life, head across to this show!
- Morecambe is at York Theatre Royal until Saturday, June 7. For more details and tickets, see the theatre’s website
- Read more reviews here