Phil Cornwell: Alackadaddy (1 star)

This article is from 2019

Phil Cornwell: Alackadaddy

credit: Piers Allardyce

Crushingly bad hour from usually brilliant performer

Comedian, actor and impressionist Phil Cornwell is a familiar face (and voice) thanks to his work on Spitting Image, Dead Ringers and cult sitcom Stella Street. In this Fringe show, he plays 'altered ego' Robert Lemon Alackadaddy, a booze-soaked sad sack battling demons from his past and voices in his head. It's not a million miles away from his wonderfully pathetic Alan Partridge character, DJ Dave Clifton.

From the start, Cornwell's crowd are unmistakably unsure about Alackaddady, a creation whose freewheeling thoughts enter the world without profundity or humour. 'We are all in this together,' he warns, although it's never certain where we're meant to be or why. While swigging from a vodka bottle, he recounts his fantasy encounters with Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Alexander Graham Bell and Alan Titchmarsh, as nary a snigger punctures the void. Walk-outs become so numerous that he weaves them into the narrative. For a time, it seems that a twist might be about to turn things around and make sense of this nonsense. But it never comes.

'You've gotta laugh, ain't ya,' he says with thundering irony as the audience loudly disagree through abject silence. On TV, Cornwell is a brilliant and funny performer but Alackaddady is way beneath his talent.

Underbelly Bristo Square, until 26 Aug (not 12), 4.15pm, £11–£12 (£10–£11).

Phil Cornwell: Alackadaddy

  • 1 star

Get Comedy Ltd Who is Robert Lemon Alackadaddy? Well he's certainly a geezer that's done many a thing. Come meet Phil Cornwell's altered ego. One of the UK's best impressionists; his cult appearances including Stellar Street and Dead Ringers. He's also been in nearly all the Alan Partridge shows and films, and has voiced…


1. ediflyer11 Aug 2019, 11:11am Report

100% agree with this review, only wish I'd seen it before going to this atrocious show yesterday. About half the audience left. Truly dreadful and a total waste of money. Avoid at all costs.

2. Gill11 Aug 2019, 11:15am Report

One word - embarrassing. First time we've ever walked out during a show, it was that bad. Complete and utter waste of money, 40 minutes of my life that'll never get back. Don't.

3. Susan Watson11 Aug 2019, 5:48pm Report

Our party of six left the venue after 20 minutes. We had sat in silence with hardly a sound from the audience and at that point decided life was too short. It was excruciating and also rather sad. We were seated near the front, and were not the first to leave and certainly not the last. Have never walked out on a show at the fringe in the many years we've been coming here. Very disappointed. Not allowing audience reviews on the official fringe site, found out the hard way the reason why.

4. Doreen Muir24 Aug 2019, 4:51pm Report

A comedy genius who can do no wrong in my eyes, I just don't think everyone gets his humour as it is pathos that goes above their heads..

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