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Ken Dodd OBE: A Celebration Of Liverpool’s Laughter Makers

Saint George’s Hall
Liverpool
April 1 – April 2
3 hrs 50 minutes.


St. Georges Hall in Liverpool 2006

St. George's Hall
Liverpool

 

Liverpool humour is unique and its long list of laughter makers is legend, with the city’s – if the not the country’s – King of Mirth undoubtedly being Ken Dodd, who turned eighty in November 2007.

Walking on stage with his trademark Tickling Sticks in hand, it is hard to see where the years sit as he launches into a first half lasting as long as many a modern day entertainer’s entire set. Ninety minutes are taken up by Ken Dodd’s clever, fast, enthusiastic humour and the audience come out aching. 

Laughter, he explains, is like a rainbow. From the bright white light of children who laugh in schoolyards right down to the dark-lit humour that is stock in trade of satirists and it is the casting of this rainbow for which he clearly lives.

 

What he does so well is engage with an audience. From the off, his packed crowd are involved and not merely by way of casual put downs so that they simply become stooges. He talks to them directly and the depth of affection they feel for the man in return is deeper than the Mersey.

The second half is taken up by a gentle amble down Memory Lane, with four of Liverpool’s leading comedy exponents – Arthur Askey, Ted Ray, Tommy Handley and Robb Wilton – all affectionately remembered by way of anecdotes from the man who worked with them all and a selection of film clips that has the laughter rolling from young and old alike.

Ken Dodd is a one-off, a master of his art who, thankfully, shows no sign of slowing down. On this showing, Liverpool is all the richer for his being so stage-struck – his term, not mine – and the country is all the happier for his presence. A truly memorable evening in the company of a legend.

 


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