Rock off, Tommy at Lowther Pavilion: Review by Julian Wilde
Performers from Max Wall to Lenny Henry have successfully made the step from stand-up comedian to stage actor, but the switch from comic to playwright is rarer and much more demanding. It was therefore both an enterprising and a risky opportunity for the Fylde Coast Players to stage the first play written by and starring Bobby Ball
Director Rosie Withers wisely saw that the strength of the piece is Ball’s natural comic gifts of appearance, movement and splendid timing. She let him have his head and he dominated the play which is set in Tommy Cannon’s bar in Majorca.
The talented regulars of the Players – Vera Cummins, Andy Cooke, Richie Withers and Helen Barrow - made a fine job of playing the stereotypes they depict – alcoholic wife, comic policeman, spaced out teen and distressed woman. It’s like a Spanish Allo Allo.
Paul Lomax skilfully combined not very subtle innuendo and full-on campness as the fragrant compere Johnny Garland, though his function – notably when leading the audience in a bingo session - was sometimes difficult to discern.
Cannon and Ball fans of a certain age were there in numbers for a production which is at its best when it forgets it’s a play and becomes a comedy show.
The Players and Bobby Ball together did a right good turn.
Rock Off Tommy continues until Saturday, with performances at 7.30pm each evening. Ticket details from the Lowther box office on (01253) 794221.