Claudia Wolgar, the artistic and creative force behind the excellent Source Arts Centre, Thurles, is to be congratulated for the coup of getting Morecambe straight from an Oliver award winning West End run. This is the innovative spirit that arts in Ireland needs.
This one man show, a tribute and a slice of the life of one of the UK’s funniest comics, Eric Morecambe, is just one amazing laugh after another. It crackles and sizzles with gags and tried and trusted routines, like the silly paper bag catching a coin joke. I wanted to cheer several times but felt inhibited by the people around me, so I had to shake with mirth, collapse with laughter and applaud like crazy for a glorious ‘Sunshine’ hit.
Bob Golding is not just acting but often you feel he has become the tall guy in thick black rimmed glasses, as he embarks on a life story where he uses a ventriloquist dummy as Ernie Wise, and does a range of voices to introduce the audience to his mother, his passive father, impresarios and agents.
You get funny walks, the early days in unfunny places, flops and then infectious laughter of a routine honed over forty years of being a funny man and a household name.
Morecambe bounces back from flops in America, failed TV ideas and some best forgotten movies. You experience the highs and the lows in a wonderful stage set with great sound effects and the sadness of the heart-attacks is like a thunderclap in the face as Morecambe is smashed to the ground. Not for too long and I feel nostalgia, such is the expertise of Golding.
Seeing this production it was easy to understand why Morecambe and Wise were legends in Blackpool and at one time could attract 28 million viewers for their Christmas TV shows.