NO one in their right mind, when writing about Les Dawson, should pass up an opportunity to recall a couple of the great man’s jokes, so here goes.
I saw six men kicking and punching the mother-in-law. My neighbour said ‘Are you going to help?’ I said ‘no, six should be enough’.
And another... She was the flabbiest stripper I’ve ever seen. When she ran off the stage she started her own applause.
The reason for this frivolity? It’s going to be a big year for St Annes finest, with a big TV special lined up to mark the 20th anniversary of Dawson’s death on June 10.
But there is also something quite memorable coming to the Grand Theatre in Blackpool, in the shape of a brand new play based on one of the funnyman’s most-loved characters.
Cissie and Ada, the gossiping old housewives - a classic routine performed by Dawson and Roy Barraclough - was one of the most popular things on TV in the 70s.
And now, all these years later, to mark 20 years since Dawson’s untimely death at the age of 62, a play Cissie & Ada: An Hysterical Rectomy is to hit the stage.
Written by playwright Graham Warrener in collaboration with original Cissie and Ada scriptwriter Terry Ravenscroft, it explores how the legendary sketches were written and the antics that went on behind-the-scenes and in rehearsals.
The play stars two former Coronation Street favourites - Eric Potts (Diggory) and Steven Arnold (Ashley) - as well as Steve Nallon (famous for his Mrs Thatcher impersonation on Spitting Image) and actress Natasha Magigi. It has just started at the Broadway Theatre in Barking but heads to Blackpool’s Grand on July 15 and 16.
Tickets are £15 (concessions are available) and can be purchased at www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk or at the box office on 01253 743339.
SPEAKING of The Grand, the theatre is staging Agatha Christie’s crime classic Go Back For Murder all this week. Christie, I was intrigued to learn, is the best-selling novelist of all time. Her novels have sold roughly four billion copies, and her estate claim that her works rank third, after those of William Shakespeare and the Bible, as the world’s most widely published books.
Go Back For Murder is at the Grand until Saturday.
Tickets start at £23.