Play review by Julia Pattison: The Play What I Wrote at York Theatre Royal
Venue: York Theatre Royal
Dates: Until Saturday, July 2
Review by: Julia Pattison
When The Play What I Wrote opened over 20 years ago in London’s West End every show was a sell-out and it won every major theatre award.
I’d heard a lot about the show, but had never seen it before, and neither had my guest, so we were looking forward to a fun-packed evening at the opening night of this celebrated play at York Theatre Royal, which included the promise of a mystery celebrity guest.
Frantic from the start, full of sight gags, slapstick and fast fired puns, actors Dennis Herdman and Thom Tuck launched into their double act homage to Morecambe and Wise, and from the hysterical snorts of laughter from an older gentleman near me, this was obviously going down a treat.
Dennis had the John Cleese type silly walks off to a tee, and there were lots of appreciative groans around the auditorium as the dialogue was littered with bad puns and endless sexual double entendres.
Mitesh Soni joined the dynamic duo as Arthur the Electrician, and played several cameo roles brilliantly, as well as showing off a perfect set of pins, and sense of comic timing.
All credit to this talented trio, but it all seemed a bit too silly for me at times, and my guest agreed; not so much West End, more like an earnest Amateur Dramatic Group performing back in the day.
The highlight of the first half was the A You’re Adorable Extravaganza number, featuring enormous Carmen Miranda head dresses – fabulous, flamboyant fun.
The second half was much more West End, with a pastiche of the finale of a Morecambe and Wise Christmas Special, A Tight Squeeze For the Scarlet Pimple, featuring Sue Holderness (aka Marlene from Only Fools and Horses fame) as the mystery guest.
Sue was a great sport, and, set in the dungeon of the Bastille, this was light, slapstick comedy at its best. A nostalgic nod to the showbiz world of Morecambe and Wise.