The year is 1999 and Ernie Wise is in hospital, 15 years after the death of Eric Morecambe. An apparition of his late comedy partner appears at his bedside, glasses and all, and the beloved duo embark on a reminiscent jaunt through their best memories- with both new material and original favourites.
Morecambe and Wise are such a beloved duo that it is brave to attempt to imitate them at all. However, Ian Ashpitel as Wise and Jonty Stephens as Morecambe have got them down to an eerily fine art.
Morecambe and Wise are such a beloved duo that it is brave to attempt to imitate them at all. However, Ian Ashpitel as Wise and Jonty Stephens as Morecambe have got them down to an eerily fine art. They sound almost exactly the same as the pair, and whilst they don’t look exactly the same, they are probably as close as it gets. Their mannerisms are uncanny and the patter between them is a gloriously accurate replication of the relationship the two shared on stage.
Stephens reels off gag after gag just as the man himself did- twitching his glasses and nose all the while. Ashpitel has got Wise down to a tee; exasperatedly standing in Morecambe’s shadow and being the butt of his jokes, attempting to take comedy a little more seriously than Morecambe can.
The fresh material is kept true to the duo’s style and could have easily have been part of their shows in the past. Favourite sketches such as Grieg’s Piano Concerto, Morecambe’s paper bag trick, and the beloved Swiss Dance and slapping routine also feature and are emulated very well, reminding the audience of just how great they are. I was only disappointed that the Breakfast time sketch didn’t feature!
There’s no way they could ever be quite as good as the originals but they get very close. Closing the only way they could- with a rendition of Bring Me Sunshine- they skipped off the stage to loud, reminiscent applause. There are no comedy duos like Morecambe and Wise these days, and I’m sure that I’m not the only member of the audience that will be looking back at more of their best material this evening!