Eric and Ern at The lowry
Ian Ashpitel and Jonty Stephens have been performing and writing as Eric and Ern for almost five years but I wondered if they could really emulate the greatness of the comic genii. Without doubt this production matches the press release claim of being a “brilliant homage crammed full of Morecambe and Wise’s most-loved routines, songs and sketches”.
Ashpitel (Wise) and Stephens (Morecambe) are uncannily like the famous duo – they absolutely make you believe you are watching these comic icons live. The evening is played out where Eric and Ern are most at home – in front of the famous red curtains. And this is where we see them at their best. How many moments and catchphrases can you remember? The paper bag; face slapping; short fat hairy legs; the play wot I wrote; a musical guest; the list goes on. The musical guest offered the big voice of Rebecca Neale, suitably upstaged during Send in the Clowns, but feeling a bit out of era with All I Want for Christmas, released 10 years after Morecambe’s death.
I missed seeing the duo away from the curtain – perhaps a classic scene in bed; and I would love to see a local special guest (they could have different celebrities each night), but overall these are minor points that did not detract from the evening. Running until the last day of Christmas, this is an hysterical blast back to fond memories of childhood Christmases when we all settled in to watch the classic duo – a highlight of Christmas past. This show is an absolute highlight of Christmas present!
Quays Theatre, Lowry: Dec 18th 2018 – Jan 6th 2019