It’s the 50th anniversary of The Morecambe & Wise Show, where two of the UK’s top entertainers cemented their legendary status, so it seems timely that the stage show An Evening Of Eric And Ern is setting off on the road, and calling into the Northcott Theatre, Exeter on the way.
The highly acclaimed portrayal of the legendary comedy duo, Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise from actors Ian Ashpitel and Jonty Stephens kicks off on a UK tour from 13th September – 13th December.
Whole families huddled around the telly
Crammed full of renditions of those famous comedy sketches, and coupled with contemporary references in their unique style, the show evokes memories of times when whole families would huddle around the telly on Sunday evenings to share in the much-loved antics of Britain’s national treasures.
Ian and Jonty have been performing and writing as Eric and Ern for almost five years.
A staggering portrayal
The research into their subjects is there for all to see in their staggeringly accurate portrayal of the most successful and much loved British comedy duo of all time.
The performers themselves have a wonderful relationship with the families and estates of Morecambe & Wise – with all scripts vetted and authorised before being performed.
“I have been fascinated with Eric Morecambe for as long as I can remember,” says Jonty.
The funniest and loveliest of men
“I took on his persona at school and it never really left me. He was the funniest and loveliest of men. We both feel it’s a privilege to play Eric and Ernie and some people have said it’s like we’re channelling them – some nights it does feel like that.”
Ian and Jonty met at drama school over 30years ago and continued their friendship playing golf together at The Stage Golf Society in Richmond. When Jonty was asked to play Eric at a charity show he knew that with his diminutive stature, Ian would be the perfect Ernie Wise. Having brought the house down the two then wrote some ‘bespoke’ material for their friends at the golf club.
Ian explains: “It was these performances which laid the foundation for a very long and incredible journey that led to rave reviews at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.”
This was followed by an acclaimed run at The Vaudeville Theatre in London’s West End, which was topped by an Olivier Award nomination for ‘the play wot we wrote’ – Eric and Little Ern.
“We do treasure the relationship we have with each other – as did Eric and Ernie and I think it’s obvious that we love performing the comedy of Morecambe and Wise.”
Jonty said: “More importantly, the audiences love watching it – which is always handy. But it’s more than just watching a comedy show – there’s a real emotional connection, because we all remember watching it together. The audience reaction has been amazing.
Thursday 13th September Lancaster: Grand Theatre
www.lancastergrand.co.uk/ / 01524 64695
Friday 14th September Ulverston: The Coro
www.corohall.co.uk/ / 01229 587140
Saturday 15th September Derby: Derby Theatre
www.derbytheatre.co.uk/ / 01332 593 939
Friday 21st September Chelmsford: Civic Theatre
www.chelmsford.gov.uk/theatres/ / 01245 606 505
Saturday 22nd September Exeter: Northcott Theatre
www.exeternorthcott.co.uk/ / 01392 726363
Sunday 23rd September Barnstaple: Queen’s Theatre
Tuesday 25th September Guildford: G Live
www.glive.co.uk/Online/ / 01483 369350
Wednesday 26th September Dartford: Orchard Theatre
www.orchardtheatre.co.uk/Online/ / 01322 220000
Thursday 27th September Cheltenham: Town Hall
www.cheltenhamtownhall.org.uk/ / 0844 576 2210
Friday 28th September Wycombe: Swan
www.wycombeswan.co.uk/Online/ / 01494 512 000
Tuesday 2nd October Milton Keynes: The Stables
www.stables.org/ / 01908 280800
Saturday 6th October Chester: Storyhouse
www.storyhouse.com/ / 01244 409 113
Wednesday 10th October Harrogate Festival: Harrogate Theatre
www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk/ / 01423 502 116
Saturday 13th October St Albans: Alban Arena
www.alban-arena.co.uk/ / 01727 844488
Sunday 14th October Newcastle: Theatre Royal
www.theatreroyal.co.uk/ / 08448 11 21 21
Wednesday 17th October Lincoln: Theatre Royal
www.newtheatreroyallincoln.co.uk/ / 01522 519999
Saturday 27th October Bristol: Redgrave Theatre
www.redgravetheatre.com/ / 0117 3157 800
Thursday 8th November Reading: The Hexagon
www.readingarts.com/ / 0118 960 6060
Friday 9th November Norwich: Playhouse
www.norwichplayhouse.co.uk/ / 01603 598598
Wednesday 14th November Wolverhampton: Grand Theatre
www.grandtheatre.co.uk/ / 01902 429 212
Thursday 15th November Peterborough: The Broadway
www.broadwaypeterborough.co.uk/ / 01733 306071
Friday 16th November Wirral: Floral Pavilion
www.floralpavilion.com/ / 0151 666 0000
Sunday 18th November Crawley: The Hawth
www,parkwoodtheatres.co.uk/The-Hawth / 01293 553636
Saturday 1st December York: Theatre Royal
www.yorktheatreroyal.co.uk/ / 01904 623568
Sunday 2nd December Chichester: Festival Theatre
www.cft.org.uk/ / 01243 781312
Tuesday 4th December Swansea: Grand Theatre
Monday 10th December Bromley: Churchill Theatre
www.churchilltheatre.co.uk/Online/ / 020 3285 6000
Thursday 13th December Bury St Edmunds: The Apex
www.theapex.co.uk/ / 01284 758000
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