Yvonne Arnaud Theatre – until 9th July 2022
Reviewed by Heather Chalkley
Twenty years after the first performance of David Pugh’s play, it is still a fitting tribute to Morecambe and Wise. It continues to encapsulate the honesty and integrity of the double act, who performed purely for the entertainment of others.
Director Sean Foley puts to work the genius of Eric and Ernie embodied in Dennis Herdman (Dennis) and Thom Tuck (Thom). At times I forget that we are not watching the real thing and am taken back to my early teen years, watching the Morecambe and Wise show with my family. However, this is not only a piece of nostalgia. The audience are truly entertained, laughing out loud most of the way through. The comedy is timeless. Mitesh Soni (Arthur and others) was the essential fall guy, the glue that kept the performance together and the device for many of Dennis and Thom’s gags. Soni is a perfect fit for this double act, totally embracing every character. Our special guest played along beautifully, creating those special moments of naivety, when Dennis treats them unwittingly with disbelief and disrespect.
In this era of political correctness, continued fight for equality and climate emergency, this is a play to hang your campaigns up with your coat and simply enjoy being entertained for the sake of entertainment. I would definitely watch it again, just so I can take friends and family with me.