In this world where we live, there should be more happiness. The timeless comedy of Morecambe and Wise in Eric & Ern certainly brought joy and smiles to the capacity audience last night.
The show is a banquet of set comedy routines, familiar dialogue lines and recognisable physicality, and these were all rapturously devoured by the spellbound audience. Played out with vivacity and freshness, Ian Ashpitel & Jonty Stephens masterfully shared this iconic comedy which must, in the rehearsal room, have been a labour of love. Their chemistry, timing and characterisation struck every right note with the audience, and indeed, in exactly the right order.
Up against such brilliance, Sinéad Wall also shone brightly. Engaging in the comedy as the invited musical talent, she rose to the expectation with aplomb with her Send in the Clowns. Later, she proved her impressive musical abilities with a fine solo that evoked enthusiastic applause from all.
The Stratford Playhouse venue richly enhanced this joyous performance. The circular auditorium space supported that sense of something special being shared amongst a theatre-going community. Impeccable care was extended to the patrons, encouraging a relaxed and jovial expectation of the show. The prowess of the stage management, in the movement of small set, was slick and seamless, whilst the technical folk exercised subtle, timely and restrained skill in terms of lighting and sound. The inclusion of late 70s and early 80s hits as prelude music was a touch that gently nudged the audience into the spirit of the age.
The show is now on UK tour. Any who have their seat booked are in for a treat. If you wish for a show to bring you sunshine, this is the show for you.
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