Review: Rib-tickling fun from comedy legend

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Once again the Futurist theatre has served Scarborough well by securing an appearance of the famous Scouser and showbiz legend Ken Dodd, to provide the audience with an evening of rib-tickling wit and humour.

A pat on the back too for the theatre staff, and their speed getting the audience inside from the pavement and threat of inclement weather.

Kens value for money philosophy ensured the audience went home content, knowing that they had witnessed, and indeed participated with, a master in the art of comedy who could still teach a thing or two, or even three, to younger comedy artistes still on the way up.

The full house with very few vacant seats when the curtain rose, showed this veteran performer had lost none of his pulling power, to demonstrate in the course of the evening he remained very much on top of his game.

This was an evening of fun and enjoyment. Those lucky enough to attend shows in earlier years, could now only marvel at the continuing non- stop flow of wit and the energy expended by Doddy.

Throughout the entire show he demonstrated he had lost none of his skill of delivery, with scarcely a pause between fabulous witty one liners’.

Perhaps the delivery was a tad slower than in days of old, and perhaps the gaps between jokes have grown slightly longer, but his craft of comedy presentation was still exquisitely displayed.

One could only admire how the bumbling nonsense was so deftly delivered. Slick might be the right word to describe the performance.

Ken has a reputation of keeping the audience as willing prisoners and extending the show beyond their original expectations.

It was however, an experience just to listen to the jokes being delivered without recourse to smut or swearing.

Knowing how long he has been in the business of delivering quick fire gags, ranging from black pudding plantations, and threatening tickle stick attacks on all and sundry, it is clear that his fame as a comedy genius has not been won lightly.

Nor were his targets constrained, embracing such diverse subjects as duck and pigs, the Inland Revenue, ladies with glass eyes, and residents of Hull.

On the peerless performance of the evening, the only remaining question for many was, ‘how long can he at his age, continue what must be a punishing routine’.

Probably many of the audience went home hoping that Scarborough remains a high priority before Ken says “Tatty Bye!” for the last time, and asking how long will his earlier chart topping songs such as Tears and that other favourite Happiness, remain for their delight?