Tommy Cannon and Bobby Ball received a deserved standing ovation at the Royal Hippodrome Theatre after a warm-hearted, uplifting finale to Bobby’s superb creation The Dressing Room.
Their familiar comedy routine, occupying most of the second-half, remains hilarous, having been brilliantly honed after 55 years together.
An imaginary ping-pong game and Tommy’s attempts to sing Molly Malone, despite his partner’s constant interruptions with his guitar accompaniment, produced roars of laughter. And we loved the nostalgia as Bobby snapped his trademark red braces and yelled catchphrases Rock on Tommy and You Little Liar. Another veteran comedian, Johnnie Casson, had won over the audience in the first half with his excellent timing of pre-PC jokes which many of us had heard before - but not so well delivered. Stu Francis played the show’s camp compere, Billy Tents, who pranced about, constantly repeating his catchphrase Life Is For Laughing, Not Just For Living.
The opening scenes had taken place in the dressing room where four clubland comedians got ready to perform their stand-up acts. This funny sitcom saw Cannon ribbed about his attempt to look younger in a ridiculous wig, and Casson’s character, carrying an urn, inconsolable following a sad loss. A mix of sitcom and stand-up made for a spendld evening’s entertainment.
By Tony Flood