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On Wednesday 18 March,with very few props, Count Arthur Strong commanded the Blackpool Grand Theatre stage from beginning to end of his show, Somebody Up There Licks Me. The show began as Count Arthur Strong, the persona ably performed by Steve Delaney, was reading a letter from his solicitor whom he criticised for poor grammar and punctuation until he realised the letter was actually his own response.

Count Arthur’s reference to gastric bands created real belly laughs and tears of laughter were rolling down my cheeks within five minutes of his comic ramblings. With Arthur’s ‘drop of splosh’ at hand he bumbled his words so incredibly and stupidly with contradictory articulation as only he can. The ‘drop of splosh’ appeared frequently throughout the show as his stage hand Malcolm, otherwise known as Renee, his on stage lady friend (she is, in fact, a woman) poured Arthur’s drinks. This was done with subtlety, to keep Arthur’s spirits up and personality flowing.

Featuring within the act was a ‘nut list’ which included Marc Almond, cashews (bless you), and pistachios, which you should never mention to anyone with a gastric band. All very funny stuff. Count Arthur then performed a sermon which referred to ‘The Creation’ as having Alan and Elvis in the Garden of Edam. This somehow ended up with talk of The Beatles, with reference to apples found in the Garden of Edam. He went on to exorcise ‘Jack Lemon’ and Macca.

The show finished with a tribute to The Beatles, performed with Count Arthur dressed as Paul McCartney and Malcolm as John Lennon. Eggy, from the television series, also made an appearance in the show, playing Yoko Ono or, as Arthur put it, Ono Yoko. They all sang I Am The Walrus and Arthur was appalled by the lyrics, ‘boy you’ve been a naughty girl, you let your knickers down’ and stopped the tribute.

There were references to various Michaels, including Prince and Princess Michael of Kent whom he seems to have a thing for. The audience was thoroughly engaged throughout and roared with laughter at Arthur’s genuinely hilarious mispronunciations, malapropisms, and general speech and attention disorder. Count Arthur is a recognisable figure, one we have all encountered at some point in our lives. There seems a similarity to our elderly neighbour, or great Uncle, and we can identify with Arthur’s confused yet sharp witted personality.

If you want to laugh out loud and find yourself with a surreal sense of misapprehension, Count Arthur Strong is definitely for you. You will be guaranteed laughs and chuckles, if not hysteria, so why not follow Count Arthur’s absurd life and catch up with him in a town near you.

Reclaim Blackpool - Mapping Sexual Harrasment
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    Local artist, (painting, drawing, collage, and occasional photography, (for reference), of landscape, and abstract, in oil, acrylic, and any other medium which captures my imagination. Contributor, and writer for altBlackpool. Collector, of sometimes anything, but mostly pot, and ceramics.

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