Skinnyfest 03 - Count Arthur Strong - The Musical?

The jumbling of the English language is a joy to hear.

Article by Tommy Mackay | 14 Aug 2006
Looking and sounding like a cross between John Shuttleworth and Harry Worth, the Count eventually ambles onstage with a health and safety warning concerning the wiring. This delayed entry is reminiscent of Tommy Cooper, when he used to have audiences screaming with laughter before he even came on by letting them hear him fumbling around backstage. As a stalwart of radio comedy, the Count's visual gags and comic silences work amazingly well. His weary assistants give solid support too, including a hilarious Hamlet soliloquy. The Count's blind testing of his famed Piccalilli, drawing comparison with Paul Newman's condiments, is great fun, as is his constant pleading with the audience to be shareholders in his venture. The jumbling of the English language is a joy to hear, as he takes Ernie Wise type manglings to a near extreme. Such old-school comparisons are hard to avoid in the case of Count Arthur Strong. His mirror sketch even brings to mind Groucho Marx's famous mirror routine in 'Duck Soup.' With solid comic acting like this, it surely can't be long before the lad from Doncaster blesses our TV screens.
Count Arthur Strong - the Musical?, Assembly Rooms, Until August 28, 18:27, £11/£9.50 (£10/£8.50).