Live Review: Bournemouth Echo April 2017

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Count Arthur Strong – Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne
by Alan Jones
28/04/17

I first saw Count Arthur Strong (aka Steve Delaney) live at the Edinburgh Festival over ten years ago, having previously heard and enjoyed his Radio 4 programme.
If you didn’t already know, ‘Count Arthur’ is a fading, out-of-work former variety star with a decidedly delusional and grandiose self-image. His bumbling and ramblings have graced TV and radio since 2004, filling a space in the entertainment spectrum left vacant by the late Harry Worth.
But like Harry Worth, Count Arthur has his detractors.
Listeners’ opinions on Radio 4’s Feedback programme are usually polarised (Marmite-like) into haters and lovers.
No-one seems just indifferent His current show, The Sound of Mucus, has been touring the UK since the beginning of the year. And with a total of 74 performances countrywide, you have to admire his stamina. The performance is a unique and frequently surreal rambling rant, its theme very loosely based on The Sound of Music. His persona is a man challenged by language (Spoonerisms are his forte) and totally exasperated by what he perceives as the shortcomings of the world and of the people around him.
If I have a criticism, it’s that he lets long comedic pauses stretch out to the point where you start to fidget and the laughter gets a bit strained.
For all that, he filled the house and the house laughed a lot. What more could a stand-up ask for?

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