BARRY CRYER AND RONNIE GOLDEN: ROCK OF AGES
Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
August, 2002

*** Comedy legend turns his hand to rock music

It's not a high-concept show: just some jokes, some songs (some of them even straight)... a bit of a hootenanny, in fact.

At 67, Barry Cryer is bewildered to be described as "middle-aged": "How many 134-year-old men do you know?" His musical associate Ronnie Golden is a mere stripling in comparison only grey as opposed to silver-haired. There's no real through line to the show: they just fancied having a bit of fun together, and they do.

Between numbers, Cryer shows why he has had such a solid 40-year career as a comedy writer and stalwart of radio's I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue: the jokes pour out of him like glasses of designer beer in the trendy Traverse bar. Golden is no slouch at comic musical numbers himself, as his former incarnation as frontman of The Fabulous Poodles testifies. So they do a few numbers a country paean to John Prescott, a kind of humorous version of "Sympathy For The Devil" explaining how long they've been around share a bit of patter, and even just have a straightforward rave-up with a medley of "Well All Right" and "What'd I Say". And yes, they also perform "Purple People Eater", Cryer's 1958 Finnish number one (true). They don't quite rock the house, but they jiggle it most agreeably.

Written for divento.com

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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