2021 is the year to celebrate 100 years of Tommy Cooper. Even if you have no knowledge of variety I am sure you will have come across his infamous fez hat or his catchphrase ‘Just Like That’.
Tommy Cooper was born in 1921 and served in the British Army were he apparently lost part of his costume and so borrowed a fez hat, and that was the main costume of his act from then on. I think just seeing a fez you would think ‘Tommy Cooper’.
Tommy Cooper’s act was based on being a comedian with visual props and a magic act. Although he always portrayed his magic acts going wrong, he was in fact a member of the magic circle.
Sadly Tommy Cooper died on stage from a heart attack on 15th April 1984, televised live by London Weekend Television for the variety show ‘Live From Her Majesty’s’ hosted by Jimmy Tarbuck.
With the support of ‘Tommy Cooper Estate’ and Tommy’s daughter a tribute variety show by ‘Hamilton Productions’ , a Lincolnshire based professional theatre company, was produced in 2014 for the 30th anniversary of his death.
Louth Riverhead Theatre is just down the road from me and was the setting for Hamiliton Productions on line broadcast of ‘Just Like That’ 100 years of Tommy Cooper, shown virtually on Friday 19th March 2021.
The show is written and performed by John Hewer, who owns ‘Hamiliton Productions. He uses many of Coopers gags and idiosyncrasies and the show is based, as was Tommy Cooper’s, around the failing magic tricks, although now and again one would surprise us and he would allow the trick to actually work, taking everybody by surprise.
John Hewer is similar in build to Tommy and has obviously studied him very closely, which I feel only a true fan of the man himself could portray. I really do wish I could see this in a theatre with other people laughing and enjoying the show and that would enhance the atmosphere.
This show will hopefully keep the likes of Tommy Cooper in people’s memories and even encourage people to discover him for the first time and introduce a new generation of fans ‘Just Like That!’.
Have you seen the production? Do you remember ‘Tommy Cooper?’ and how do you think he compares to todays comedians?
I would love to hear your views.
Sparkle Hugs and Glitter Kisses xxx
All photographs, unless stated, are the copyright of Lorna Liza