Last night I went to see the actor Steve Delaney perform his character Count Arthur Strong, at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill. It has to be one of the greatest comic creations of modern times alongside, in my opinion, Alan Partridge and many of Steve Coogan’s other creations. I managed to meet up with him after the show:
From a performance point of view, I was impressed by the amount of energy and invention that went into it. OK, he’s not everyone’s cup of tea and many people just don’t get it – an ex-variety hall performer, suffering from some form of dementia, or at least a severe form of malapropism/tourette’s, with a generous helping of Dunning/Kruger effect thrown in. Sounds weird put like that, but I guess you just have to be there.
He just didn’t stop moving, jerking around the stage as if he had an electric coat hanger caught in the back of his jacket. A stream of (well-rehearsed, I should imagine) unconscious word-association based on space-themed confectionery was the high point of the show.
Above all, it was innocent humour – no nastiness and the swearing kept to a very British 1950’s minimum.
As I said, I guess you just had to be there.