(I was lucky enough to see this play-about Norman Wisdom-as part of their opening night. Or-as a ‘Journalist’, though I use it very loosely-I got to see it, as part of an assignment for Inugen/e magazine. Thank you for sending me!)
The play is written by and stars Jack Lane-an uncanny impressionist, who has Norman down to a ‘T’. Just the voice, look, and wearing the Gump suit…obviously, you knew it wasn’t Norman, but he drew us in-the whole audience. And then he began to tell his story.
It starts with the BBC announcement of his death-an overhead recording-and gradually Mr Grimsdale’s voice persuading him to tell the story. (Singing was mentioned-and had some inclusion. More on that later.) It was very effective-as a one man show-but with limited props etc. It was very reminiscent of the Wisdom films-even complete with the introduction sequence of the Rank Organisation. That eluded to the theater, and other details..
There were jokes galore. (I.E ‘Norman throws diary into wings. Crash sound ensures. Quip: “Hence the expression, ‘Window in your diary.”) Or when a front row women-complete with gestures-had it eluded to that she had a ‘curvy’ body. (Yes, I missed a line there.)
Norman fans young and old need to see this play; let’s take it to Albania, where Wisdom has a cult following!