Fans of Barry Cryer – and there are legions of them – will adore this rambling stream-of-consciousness comedy show about nothing in particular.
With Cryer's fifty year knowledge of comedy, this could have been a tour-de-force of glorious anecdotes and stories about people and events that only he could tell.
For those unfamiliar with Cryer, he currently stars in the long running Radio 4 series, I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. His career is long and varied, getting its big break in devising satirical TV programmes alongside David Frost. The comedian went on to write Kenny Everett's TV shows with Michael McIntyre's dad, as well as to work with such diverse names as Tommy Cooper, Bob Hope and Richard Pryor.
At the top of the show Cryer stares into his capacity audience and explains that as an entertainer his job is “looking at you, looking at me.” The crowd was clearly enamoured with him and on the evidence of tonight, the feeling is mutual.We have musical numbers and silly jokes; it's all very light, family-friendly entertainment. There's a little cheeky innuendo here and there, but its all pre-watershed stuff.Occasionally, Cryer lost his place, but the dependable Colin Sell kept him right from behind the piano. At seventy-nine years old he’s allowed a little memory lapse every now and again.
Cryer knows his comedy and at one stage early in the show he begins to discuss the etymology of some popular jokes, tracing one back to Roman times. This is fascinating, but all too quickly Cryer digresses into a run of parrot gags and what promises to be an interesting talking point is forgotten.
I love Barry Cryer and I did really enjoy this show. But with Cryer's fifty year knowledge of comedy, this could have been a tour-de-force of glorious anecdotes and stories about people and events that only he could tell. Sadly I left the theatre thinking that he had wasted this golden opportunity.