Tim Whitnall’s biographical interpretation of Eric Morecambe’s life story arrived at Cardiff New Theatre on Tuesday evening for the final leg of its tour. As a lifelong Eric Morecambe fan, I have been keen to see this production for several months and was curious to see how actor Bob Golding could pull off an interpretation of one of the greatest comedians of the 20th century.
The scene of the production is straightforward, a simple lounge with a couch, a trunk and a trolley with props including a bottle of scotch and an oversized hypodermic needle (all of which are explained throughout the later narrative to comic effect).
There is then a news bulletin from 1984 of which Eric’s death is announced followed by the immediate arrival of the man himself as if entering the gates of heaven (but in true Morecambe fashion via red curtains!) As he emerges onto the stage in flat chequered cap, brown raincoat and those all-important glasses and pipe, Bob Golding immediately recreates the magic of Morecambe.
Golding’s seemingly limitless energy during this one-man performance is nothing short of brilliant. He effortlessly switches interpretations of other notable figures in Morecambe’s life including his mother Sadie, impresario Jack Hylton and comic partner Ernie Wise (via a ventriloquist dummy).
Each scene is filled with one of Eric Morecambe’s personal quirks, and there are several classic references to Morecambe and Wise gags, including Grieg’s Piano Concerto and The Stripper.
Never ceasing to leave you smiling, the show finished on a classic Eric Morecambe gag, earning Bob Golding a well-earned standing ovation.
Morecambe continues at the New Theatre until Saturday, don’t waste any time in catching this unique tribute to a much-missed comedy entertainer. It will bring you sunshine!
Revised review: September 2019