Count Arthur Strong: The Musical

Norwich Playhouse

Norwich Playhouse

I always like a comedian who is branded 'cult': you know that in the commercial world of comedy, this one has stuck it out and stayed original. And Steve Delaney, aka Count Arthur Strong, is no exception.

I'm sure you'll be familiar with his radio show, but would he pull it off live?

On stage, his is not so much a stand-up routine as acting. In general, the gags are concerned with the business of putting across the character: an old, drunk showbiz enthusiast from Doncaster, with a strange lopsided limp, who is trying to sell shares in a musical about his own life.

For most of the show he has a coat hanger hooked on to the back of his trousers and a tweedy hat which he pairs with an evening suit. He wanders off the stage, he ambles back on. He is apparently vague.

It's all slightly reminiscent of Tommy Cooper and his sustained silliness.

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Simplicity like this takes serious skill to pull off. But Delaney does it.

In the country of the absurd, this count is a king. Keep watching this space.

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