Still the undisputed master of English manglage, Count Arthur is once again busy taking the audience on bumpy, meandering, linguistic journeys up the garden path to get to place, place, places that lead them and to it, whole out of amazement and also , let them of course no wiser. But they laugh all the time, sometimes to the point of crying (aside from the weird ones that leave early when they realize they don’t have the right frames of reference to engage with the goofy character).
Surrounded by seven frighteningly large pictures of himself and his name in big lights, the deluded old Dodderer staggers stiffly and tipsy across the stage in the usual un-chic suit and Tyrolean titfer. Confused, troubled, and bewildered, he indulges in endless disjointed, fragmented anecdotes, tirades, and flights of fondant fantasies that have a mad logic of their own in this one-man showroom, also throwing in melodic songs (or upwards) , a little bit of French “dance”, a little bit of ventriloquism and a little bit of disguise. His Elvis, the king of rock-hard roles, appears in brilliant white – in a judo suit, while Napoleon meets his Waterloo with Abba and a cacophonous Squeezebox.
Constantly confused, forgetful, frustrated and complaining, this ego warrior is far too self-absorbed to notice: although he can’t find the words, he never stops talking. He mangled malaprops, mangled metaphors, and strangled syntax from here to motherhood, creating a hilarity that’s now but wacky as we rave from Elvis and his wife, Priscillia Queen of the Desert, to South Fork, Elvis’ brother JR, and gunshots travel to bizarrely arrive at the forever-unsolved mystery of Jack Duckworth’s broken glasses on Coronation Street. Likewise, via Agatha Benny in Wales and Paul McCartney’s Mound of Car Tires Beheadings at the Tower of Blackpool, we learn that Richard the Braveheart was played by Mel Giedroyc, that HRT Queen Victoria always proclaimed, “We’re not excited.” and that Domestos Labels are as good as a Charles Dickens novel if you want a good read – oh, and that people would be a lot better off if they had all their jaws dislocated.
While jaded actor Arthur tells us all (or nothing) about “Me and the Man Behind Me – Who I Am,” Steve Delaney, the actual actor behind Dotty Count, never comes to the fore for a moment save for the ingenious phrasing of his script, his superb comic timing and execution, and the charismatic charm he brings to this easygoing, incompetent old fool. Since the 1980s, Delaney has meticulously performed and perfected his alter egoist on stage, in his TV sitcom, and on his multi-award-winning radio show, while still finding time and energy after the show to meet and greet everyone who is met and greeted would like.
This show may be a little less slick and seamless than some of its predecessors, but it’s still deeply, incredibly funny, and for all lovage langurs and/or language lovers, this is a wonderful night in… off!… off!
Eileen Caiger Gray
Count Arthur travels alongside Blackpool, Nottingham, Bridlington, York, Leeds, Salford, Westcliff-on-Sea, Brighton, Richmond and Birmingham.
COUNT ARTHUR STRONG: AND THAT AM I! DONCASTER CAST – May 28, 2022
Source link COUNT ARTHUR STRONG: AND THAT AM I! DONCASTER CAST – May 28, 2022