Skip to content


Double Act
Published on Friday, 19 August 2011

3 stars

theSpaces @ Surgeons Hall (venue website)
5-6, 8-13, 15-20, 22-27 Aug, 6:10pm-7:10pm
Reviewed by Alice de Cent

 Parental Guidance. Parents or guardians should consider the content of this show if children are attending.

Off-stage drama abounds in the lives of Morecambe-and-Wise-style comedy double act Arthur Douglas and Eddie Adams. Set during their final days of their 1972 summer tour, Double Act goes behind the scenes and explores the joys and tragedies of the intricately-connected performers.

With strong performances from Martyn Grahame as Arthur and Sean Hanlon as Eddie, the dynamic between the two partners is always engaging, and their sharp comic timing makes for some excellent moments. Both actors also succeed in conveying the age of characters much older than themselves, with some admirably weighty performances.

The script, penned by Grahame, has some well-crafted and humorous dialogue that balances the trials faced by the characters, and endears them quickly to the audience. I was a little less convinced by the device of Arthur speaking directly to the audience to introduce scenes taking place in the characters’ pasts; making Arthur the centre of the action took something away from the touching relationship that had been built between the two performers.

Requiring some very physical performances, the whole cast rose confidently to this challenge. However, having already established a strong comic tone, and the burden of the premise of a world-class comedy act, there is room for more development of the ‘on-stage’ scene. In the section where the duo take turns telling jokes and miming the action, the movements were often a touch too general to fully illustrate the situation. The fight choreography, too, whilst executed with commitment from the actors, seemed to have been designed for a larger stage, and could benefit from some tightening up.

There are moments where some of the characters could be more fully inhabited, but Double Act is an engaging tale, well told.  There is much to be found in the interconnected lives that feature in this comic and poignant story.

<< Steal Compass, Drive Nort...   The Fudge Shop >>