Review: Dan Gordon's one-man Frank Carson play is a cracker
Frank Carson: Rebel Without A Pause
THE audience at the Lyric Theatre were expectant. They thought they knew Frank Carson but they didn’t really, not until actor Dan Gordon took the stage and we were immediately in the presence of the famous comedian.
In just over an hour, ‘Carson’ took us through his life, emotional as he talked about his family, living in Little Italy by the docks and his brother Johnny who drowned at sea when he was 16.
Throughout his story, he talks to Johnny, wishes he was about to share his success; the boy is always in this thoughts. When he appears on This Is Your Life he whispers: "This is for you, Johnny."
Dan Gordon has taken three years to perfect a perfect performance. It's a clever script and in voice and demeanour he’s Carson to a tee. With only a chair in a magenta spotlight and five posters he unfurled at the appropriate time, the only other prop is a microphone on a stand.
Even as he is talking to us about the most sensitive things he will suddenly stride to the mic and come off with his hilarious one liners.
“A man says to the doctor: 'What's the good news?' 'You've got 24 hours to live.' He says: 'What's the bad news?' The doctor says: 'We should have told you yesterday.'
The gags punctuate the storyline as we listen to his life in the Belfast Newsboy’s Club, as a member of The Parachute Regiment fighting in Palestine, his experience in a hotel suite with a member of the Royal family... At one stage he even becomes Pope John Paul.
“It's my wife Ruth's birthday soon. I said to her: 'What would you like for your birthday?' She said: 'I want a divorce.' I said: 'I wasn't planning on spending that much.'"
He talks of the cabaret club circuit, going from £35 to £350 for a gig but always remembering the advice he got as a child: You don’t just come by money, you have to earn it.
Well, Dan Gordon certainly earned not only his wage but the admiration of the audience too. It’s the way he told 'em!
A very special evening.
:: Until November 5; see lyrictheatre.co.uk for details and booking.