Egypt Review: The Independent, 8th August, 2002

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By Steve Jelbert

Forgotton Egypt:

He has, as well. Steve Delaney’s excruciating creation, head of Doncaster’s leading stage school (“It’s just like the Rada, they say”) may have promised a lecture on the mysteries of ancient Egypt, but he keeps slipping into his usual anecdotes about the old times, in between sipping thirstily at a “good splosh”. (At one point he puts his glass down with the warning “I’ll be seeing more of you.”)

Though many find the Count something of an acquired taste there can be little doubt that this is his finest hour yet. For a start, we must face the sheer tension of wondering just when Arthur will discover that he’s left a coathanger inside his blazer. Then there’s his partially successful demonstration of how the food of the pharaohs (falafels) was prepared. And who could fail to thrill at the appearance of the first recorded ventriloquist’s mummy, Tiny Tut?

This expert in the field of “Egyptian alcohology”, a man who thinks the plural of sarcophagus is “sargophageese”, is a true gent and a scholar, sharing with us entries from explorer Lord Carnforth’s journal. Inevitably he concludes with a tribute to his favourite actor, Rex Harrison, the original Dr Doolittle, “who spoke to some animals”. Quite wonderful.



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