Morecambe, Assembly @ The Mound, Edinburgh
Thursday 27 August 2009
Among all the celebrity solo turns on the fringe this year, Bob Golding's Eric Morecambe seems to have caught on strongest. But I find Tim Whitnalls's play toothless and over-sentimental. Morecambe, who died in 1984 aged 58, is still much loved, but there's far too much loose chat here, and not enough hardcore material.
The one really good idea is to have Eric's comic partner Ernie Wise represented by a ventriloquist's dummy. But little is made of this apart from the first surprise when he comes out. We do get, though, a brisk summary of Eric's showbiz history, on the halls with Tessie O'Shea and Arthur Tolchard, meeting Ernie on the bill in Swansea, changing his name from Bartholomew to Morecambe, braving the Glasgow Empire, failing in America.
Golding does a pretty good impression, though it's not in the Mike Yarwood class, and he looks more like Vic Reeves than Eric. He's also a bit young and callow. Eric always seemed older, more gnarled and flyblown by experience.
You finally realise you can't really have a solo show about a double act. Eric without Ernie is Laurel without Hardy, Torvill without Dean; the individualism of one is dependent on the closeness of the other, and Morecambe's special quality of abrasive cussedness does not prosper with nothing, or no one, to rub up against.
To 31 August (0131-623 3030)
Jeff Fletcher found fame in 1990s
'At times I thought he was me'film
Review: One Direction, Fourmusic
Review: The World of Ice and Firebooks
Film More romcom than S&M
Review: The Imitation Gamefilm
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by police in Ohio park
- 2 To help fuel their propaganda machine against the poor, our government has now decided to redefine the word 'welfare'
- 3 Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
- 4 Naked free runner captured in breathtaking photographs above London's streets
- 5 Manchester United named Premier League's loudest fans despite late push by Chelsea according to 'Smart Meter' app
Hitler painting sells for 130,000 euros at auction despite controversy over Nazi dictator's artworks
Strictly Come Dancing results: Steve Backshall sent home after dance off with Sunetra Sarker
Naked free runner captured in breathtaking photographs above London's streets
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking leaked clip of Lana Del Rey rape video
Band Aid 30: 'Do They Know It's Christmas' storms to number one
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Green Party Caroline Lucas interview: 'We could be on the edge of something very big'