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)
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 2 JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
- 3 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 4 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 5 Jeremy Clarkson calls on trolls to leave producer Oisin Tymon alone: 'None of this is his fault'
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
One Direction fans campaign to buy the band after Zayn Malik quits
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
James May hints Top Gear days are over following Jeremy Clarkson's BBC exit
James May hints he will not continue on Top Gear without Jeremy Clarkson
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest