Counting on comedy

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Count Arthur Strong - Lowther Pavilion, Lytham

There’s not much Count Arthur Strong, former star of stage and screen and current legendary host of everything Doncaster Cable Television has to offer (which is actually, not a lot), can’t turn his hand to.

Granted he can’t do any of it particularly well but once he’s worked out which way round the theatre is facing and just where the audience is sitting, he’s off to a flyer.

Taller than he sounds and dafter than a brush with no bristles Count Arthur Strong is the comic creation of actor and writer Steve Delaney. In around six years he has gone from radio oddity to award winning cult hero, rambling and raging, staggering and stuttering and generally wondering why the fast lane of fame has left him in the gutter of obscurity.

Still he’s always got his Command Performance to deliver, even is he’s spelt it Commando and his “star” guests such as Private Pike’s Dad’s Army understudy Alan Leslie (played by Dave Plimmer) and gourmet superstar Renee (Terry Kilkenny) are complete unknowns.

The eccentric Count is equal shares the traditional Music Hall sketches of Jimmy James and Freddie Frinton and more recent comedy character creations John Shuttleworth and Frank Sidebottom.

Whilst not as tightly wrapped and rounded as the radio series, the live show develops as it goes along – from a bizarre rendition of the Minder theme to a wonderfully intoxicated wine tasting session, Delaney mixes and matches his words brilliantly, questioning why so many famous people are called Michael, attempting ventriloquism with a mummified dummy called Tiny Tut and admitting his dream is to star as Dr Dolittle because he’d love to “torture the animals.”