Eric and Little Ern - Review
Review from 2013
A show of 2 halves, both half a star!
Certain memories are held close to the heart. To a great many people this is true of the work of Morecambe and Wise. It takes a brave pair to put on a show about Eric and Ernie. It takes an even bigger pair to try and fill their shoes and try and be them.
A new play has been written about the Morecambe and Wise, "Eric and Little Ern", could it live up to its potential?
The first half is set in a hospital and based around a hospital bed. Ernie is nearing the end of his life and is visisted by a familair looking doctor. A cheeky smile and appearance of glasses and the audience is primed for an evening of pure nostalgia.
It is at this very early stage that you realise how much work Jonty Stephens and Ian Ashpitel have put into their parts. They have not just relied on a pair of glasses and a wig (all the way from from Axminster), but actors who have truly tried to bring Eric and Ernie back to life. There are hours and hours of work and dedication on show.
The hospital backdrop confines the performance to the bed area, but doesn't that sound familar? It is here that Eric and Ernie reminice about their lives. The dialouge is a mixture of memories and the brillance of the late Eddie Braben, Sid Green and Dick Hills all woven together by Jonty and Ian. Classic scripts are woven together to give the audience a whirlwind run through mosts of Eric and Ernies greatest moments.
The second half moves to a classic show setup. Stage, Curtains and cross talk. Clever props take you from a hospital to a theatre somewhere in the 70s.
We are then treated to classic routines that are forver ingrained into phycie of the country. You'll not hear a bigger applause for a paper bag in your life! For those who have seen it, the second half is taken from the Live DVD, which shows Eric and Ernie in one of their "bankraids"
This show is not an emotional roller coaster in the way that Bob Goldings "Morecambe" was, but more of a very well written and peformed greatest hits. A lot of thought and passion has gone into this show. Ian Ashpitel as Ernie is a dead ringer and Jonty Stephens as Eric has all the manerisims down to a tee.
The show I saw was confined to the usual 1hr show that appear at the Edinburgh Fringe. It could easily run for 2hrs. There is so much material available. The show is going on tour around the UK and I have been told that an extra 30 minutes will be added.
A entrtaining night out and worth considering if it comes near to you!
There is still a real desire to see Eric and Ernie live.. and I think I just have!
© morecambeandwise.com 2013