Times review Feb 2011

This entry was posted in News, Press on by .

“…we’ll have to wait to see what Count Arthur Strong’s “Command Performance” turns out to be. But Delaney’s performance? That will be total.”
The Times, February 2011

When Barry Humphries plays Dame Edna he has a rule. It doesn’t matter if he is wearing a wig, tights, makeup, whatever – you can still call him Barry. But once you put on the glasses you call him Edna.

I’m not sure what the equivalent moment is for Steve Delaney. Is it when he hunches his shoulders, often aided by a coat hanger in his jacket? When he sticks on his pencil moustache? Sparys grey into his temples? Or does he too wait for this specs?

Whichever it is, there is a point at which Delaney becomes Count Arthur Strong. His devotion to his dilapidated, dyspeptic old showman from Doncaster has sustained him 14 years since he tried out the character at a comedy night in London. The next day he decided his life as an actor was over. From now on he would be Count Arthur Strong or nothing.

It took him until 2005 to get a series on Radio 4. Before that gigs would be split between those who clicked with the character and those who sat staring at this wilfully peculiar parody, wondering what they were missing. Nowadays, the crowd has been forewarned.

Count Arthur isn’t always easy watching. He can be pure joy and he can require patience. That is not going to change. That is the character: awkward, absurd, moving at his own pace. His shows suggest that they will be one thing and turn out to be another. There wasn’t a whole lot of singing in Count Arthur Strong – the Musical? so we’ll have to wait to see what Count Arthur Strong’s “Command Performance” turns out to be. But Delaney’s performance? That will be total.

Dominic Maxwell





 


 

Copyright ©2015 Komedia Entertainment Ltd
Click here to see our terms & conditions