My Kind of Michael (3 stars)

This article is from 2018

Review: My kind of Michael

credit: The Other Richard

The rise and fall of Michael Barrymore

Nick Cassenbaum is warm and likeable in this bizarre comedic hour dedicated to the rise and downfall of entertainer Michael Barrymore. The show is a mixed bag, with nostalgic flashbacks to This is Your Life and Strike it Lucky, a vast range of celebrity impressions and a whole heap of audience interaction. Cassenbaum navigates two narratives throughout: Michael Barrymore's life and times, as well as his own early path to a career in entertaining.

The show is fun and very silly. Keyboardist and co-performer Andy is a highlight, funnily playing the goofy sidekick and assistant. The chaotic and high energy delivery gets wearisome, however, with several less-than-seamless moments. Cassenbaum's overall point is that clowns and entertainers are hugely important and that society is callous in its instant rejection of figures who were once much loved. It's hard, however, to really believe his sombre delivery of this point after an hour of 'the Celebritree' and Cheryl Barrymore impersonations. The balance is off, making the serious moments jarring and uncomfortable.

Overall, this is an interactive, amusing performance exploring the importance of childhood heroes and Barrymore's impact on Nick Cassenbaum and the entertainment world at large.

Summerhall, until 26 Aug (not 13, 20), 7.30pm, £11 (£9.50).

My Kind of Michael

  • 3 stars

Nick Cassenbaum Ever since he was a kid, Nick has loved Michael Barrymore. In this heartfelt and playful tribute, Nick invites you to examine the turbulent relationship between showman and spectator. Using his unique and praised style of storytelling, and Barrymore's iconic shticks, Nick intertwines his own personal…