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Count Arthur Strong – The Man Behind The Smile
By John Nicholson

Not everyone will get Steve Delaney’s creation; he plays to the notion of old school entertainers and puts me very much in mind of Harry Worth who, as far as I can recall, was really only famous for standing next to a shop window and lifting one leg up. It’s exactly the sort of thing Count Arthur would have loved to do.

This year, he takes us back through his years in show business via some fantastic archive footage of Dixon Of Dock Green., Face To Face and Ask The Family. Forever the nearly man of show business and an expert mangler of words, Count Arthur is nothing less than wonderful and it’s a joy to watch him fall apart on stage.

So convincing is he as a character that it is really hard to see Steve Delaney at all; so complete is his transformation. His Radio 4 series is already a classic extrapolation of his character and this stage show does nothing to diminish his reputation.

The supporting ‘cast’ could have been a bit stronger but it’s all about Arthur really.

One of the greatest comic creations of this century, Count Arthur is compulsory viewing at this years Fringe.

Johnny’s Star Rating 5



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