Eric and Little Ern (4 stars)

This article is from 2013

Eric and Little Ern

Hugely enjoyable piece of comedic theatre, more than just a tribute to Morecambe & Wise

Ernie Wise lies in a hospital bed in the final moments of his life. In waltzes his white coated doctor, picks up his notes, turns to the audience and with a gentle push up the nose of his thick rimmed spectacles becomes Wise's 15-years-dead comedy partner Eric Morecambe. It's a beautiful beginning to what is a fitting tribute to the double act who last worked together almost 30 years ago.

But it's not just a tribute, it's also a hugely enjoyable piece of comedic theatre; just the right amount of comedy given an undercurrent of poignancy as the two friends are reunited for a final bow. Jonty Stephens and Ian Ashpitel perfectly imitate the pair; it's easy to become so absorbed you imagine that you're watching them in one of the musical halls where it all started. The humour both borrows and encapsulates the duo's gags and wisecracks and their famous trademarks are recreated. Eric clambers into bed with Ernie, Ern attempts to write his plays or sing a song as Eric tries to distract him and Eric tries to prove Ernie's hair is a wig. Lovely stuff.

Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, until 26 Aug, 3.15pm, £11.50–£12.50 (£10.50–£11.50).

Eric and Little Ern

  • Directed by: Owen Lewis
  • Written by: Dick Hills

A tribute to the stage and screen duo, performed by Ian Ashpitel and Jonty Stephens.