Every line of the play (by Perret and his fellow performer Jeremy Limb) is completely new, but it often sounds like undiscovered material. Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling lives again: "Women are like licorice allsorts. Some you chew, some you suck and some you say `Get out of my life you harridan and take your pine furniture with you'."
In addition to reincarnating Wisty, Streeb-Greebling, and Derek and Clive, the show attempts to set the record straight on a life that many persist in viewing as wasted.
When Cook died in 1995, after many years largely spent in a haze of drugs and alcohol, Stephen Fry made a furious attack on the idiots who had written reports on his life. Matthew Perret in the character of Streeb-Greebling makes a similar defence: "They say that I `haven't fulfilled my potential': I fulfilled my potential by the time I was 25!"
The show also addresses the conflict between Pete and Dud in a deliciously spiteful reworking of the one-legged Tarzan audition in which Pete wonders whether "a club-footed short-arse from Dagenham" is a suitable candidate for Hollywood stardom.
Each pastiche is used to tell us more about Cook himself. The piece is a little uneven - opening and closing with the collapse of Cook doesn't really work - but it doesn't outstay its welcome and individual gags are sometimes hilarious.
Ultimately, the play seems unable (or unwilling) to decide whether Cook's later years were a tragic waste or not. But that's fair enough. I can't decide either.
At Pleasance to 31 August
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