What do you think of it so far? ….Rubbish!! Well that well known saying was uttered a few times when I went to see the play ‘Eric and Little Ern’ and received many a hearty laugh each time.
One of my comedy double act idols growing up was Morecambe and Wise. I was therefore delighted when I saw advertised the play ‘Eric and Little Ern’ albeit a little apprehensive. Was this a bad tribute act like a Chinese Elvis? How on each could they capture the magic that Morecambe and Wise transmitted to the audience. I was eager to find out.
The play ‘Eric and Little Ern’ is set on 21st March 1999 on Ernie Wise’s death bed. Yes I know it does not sound funny, but stick with it. I do admit I was a little confused initially. Could this be a serious play? Surely not!!
Eric, who died on 28th May 1984, enters in a white coat and the play explores the close relationship between the two men. It is very cleverly written and being a two man play means both are on the stage for the whole two hours duration.
The first half brings in the famous Andre Previn sketch, the double bed sketches and the classic ambulance going past the window with the sirens blaring, ‘He won’t sell many ice creams going at that speed’.
The second half moves away from the hospital and the scenery moves around to become the infamous red curtains. Here are the many one liners, the paper bag trick, the soft shoe dance, James Cagney routine and Shakespeare sonnet. It ends with Ernie joining Eric and the feel that that is how it should be.
After watching this play I really feel as if I have seen Morecambe and Wise live!!
The creators and performers were Ian Ashpitel as Ernie and Jonty Stephens as Eric and of course most of the material was written by Eddie Braben, Dick Hills and Sid Green.
The play has made me watch a few Morecambe and Wise episodes with reignited interest. No matter how many times I watch them they still manage to raise a large smile and hearty laugh. Thank you, Mr Morecambe and Mr Wise, and Mr Ashpitel and Mr Stephens for keeping their memory alive.
“Bring me sunshine, in your smile. Bring me laughter all the while. In this world where we live there should be more happiness, so much joy you can give to each brand new bright tomorrow. Make me happy, through the years. Never bring me any tears. Let your arms be as warm as the sun from up above. Bring me fun, bring me sunshine, bring me love”.
Sparkle Hugs and Glitter Kisses xxx
All photographs, unless stated, are the copyright of Lorna Liza