Reviewed by Helen McWilliams
Exceedingly popular on BBC Radio 4, Steve Delaney’s mad-cap character, Count Arthur Strong has made a successful move to BBC television and completed two belly-laugh-inducing series on screen so far. If this current tour proves anything, it’s that the demand for a third series is high, and we can’t wait to see what the Count has in store for us in the future.
Filling the Forum Theatre in Malvern, this latest live show from the one time variety star delighted with subtle yet completely bonkers comedy. It’s not everyone who can hold an audience’s attention while absolutely nothing is happening on the stage, but with facial expressions and the slightest of movements, we were held captive by Arthur while we waited all waited for a ‘technical hitch’ to be fixed. The ‘hitch’ being that ‘Eggy’ (played by the superb Dave Plimmer) had neglected to start the backing track for the Count’s duet!
The Count is a man of many talents, it seems, as he took us on a journey filled with music, ventriloquism and religious instruction, what more can you ask for from an evening’s entertainment?! I don’t think we’ll ever look at an orangatan or a banana in the same way again… Nor would we have expected to have been in such raptures over a shadow on a projector screen, but Delaney is nothing short of a genius, he’s developed a loveable, rounded character and he’s adapted it for radio, stage and screen. Clever dialogue, technical acting ability and comic timing all go had in hand to make this work.
A few venues on the tour are now sold out, but if ‘Count Arthur Strong’ is coming to a venue near you, then we recommend that you beg, borrow or steal a ticket, for a forgettable… sorry… unforgettable night at the theatre.
Tour details are here (no refunds!): http://www.countarthurstrong.com/2015-live-shows-announced/