For someone of my era, Bob Monkhouse was a permanent fixture in everyone’s entertainment calendar. I mainly remember him as a gameshow host – The Golden Shot, Celebrity Squares, Bob’s Full House; and also for hosting Opportunity Knocks and many chat shows – and he was always brilliant value as a guest on chat shows too. It was a very sad day when he died.
But he comes back to life in this show, The Man Called Monkhouse, which we’re seeing at 15:15 at the Assembly Hall – Rainy Hall. Here’s the blurb: “Alone in his cramped study among thousands of show business artefacts, film stock and memories, the comedian’s comedian ponders his life. The technician. The obsessive. The smile. The tan. The cuff. The wink. The sincerity of the man called Bob Monkhouse. Alex Lowe writes and Bob Golding directs Simon Cartwright in the part he was born to play. What happens when the unique handwritten joke books are stolen? This new solo play is a hilarious and poignant delve into the life of one of this country’s best loved and possibly most misunderstood comedians.”
I’ve seen a youtube trailer for the show and it looks amazing. Mr Cartwright seems to have Monkhouse’s mannerisms and voice to a tee. I’m really looking forward to seeing it. I’m hoping it will be a terrific mix of hilarity and pathos – that would be a fitting tribute to the man. It’s produced by Cahoots Theatre Company, who were also responsible for the extremely hard-hitting but satisfying Audience with Jimmy Savile, so that’s a very good sign. Check back around 4.30pm to see what we thought, and check out also what we’re going to see next!
P.S. Made a slight mistake with booking this one – as it’s coming to our local theatre in September, and there are other shows I would have liked to see in Edinburgh that we could have fitted in instead! Too complicated to change the programme of events now though!
Simon Cartwright’s performance is extraordinary – a really convincing Monkhouse with all the delicate textures of the cadences of his voice. Visually he’s slightly scary – his look suggested what he might have looked like after the morticians had finished with him. It’s a very reflective and inward looking play, and it ended rather suddenly, I felt; but it’s very good and if you liked Bob Monkhouse there’s plenty here to keep you interested. But, if I’m honest, perhaps not quite fascinating enough a play.