I was lucky enough to be given the chance to chat to the stars and creators of the show about the two funny men who graced our TV and film screens for so long. Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise are legends of entertainment and remain the best loved comedy double act in the UK.
Working together since they were young lads in 1941 they secured their place in the nation’s hearts and through their unique brand of gentle humour they continue to charm today.
Two of their greatest fans Ian Ashpitel and Jonty Stephens have joined together and written and produced a wonderful play which has delighted fans old and new through their nationwide tour.
Having met at drama school and played golf together, these young actors created a short tribute act to Eric and Ernie about 10 years ago. Over the years this has developed into the hour and a half production that is now earning accolades everywhere it is performed.
This year’s tour which ends on 2nd December followed a resounded triumph at the Edinburgh Festival and is due to culminate in a four week booking at St
James Theatre in London from 16th December to 11th January 2015.
Talking with the boys who bear an uncanny resemblance to their heroes was a privilege for me as a lifelong fan and I felt the great affection they have for them. Ian plays Ernie convincingly and Jonty has Eric’s mannerism to a T.
The scenario gives us so many of the joys of the duo: the double bed they shared so innocently, Grieg’s Piano concerto and a lot of the old favourite jokes that are embedded in comedy annals.
The second half of the show features the duo standing in familiar pose in front of the plush curtains that have in themselves become intrinsic part of their props.
This is more than a tribute act, it is more than an evening’s entertainment, this is nostalgic emotional love. They are not the real thing but it really does not matter.
All the elements are there to remind of us of what we had in Morecambe and Wise: family entertainment at its best and a jolly good reason for watching the television at Christmas.
Thank you Ian and Jonty for giving us this show and sharing your huge affection for Eric and Ernie. What did I think of it so far….. wonderful, amazing and unmissable.
The tour finishes in Malvern on 2nd December and then from 16th December moves to St James Theatre in the West End.
Information and tickets for the remaining shows are available from website www.ericandlittleern.com or telephone 0844 264 2140