The Liverpool Daily Post has just announced it’s 2012 Arts Awards and best actor has gone to Les Dennis for his performance in Jigsy.
Well deserved recognition for an excellent performance. I would say that, of course, but here’s what they said:
WE’VE seen a lot of Les Dennis on the Liverpool stage over the past few years but no part has played to his strengths as much as the title role of Tony Staveacre’s Jigsy. His immaculate comic timing, ability to warm up a crowd within seconds of arriving on stage and his experience as a stand-up and impressionist all enabled him to bring to life the faded comic with a big personality based on Liverpool’s Jackie Hamilton.
Not having a show running at the moment means that I’m mostly scrunching up bits of paper. At least if I don’t come up with any ideas I can always get an alternative career as a waste management operative…
I’ve just got back from Liverpool where Jigsy has just opened to great acclaim at the fantastic Royal Court Liverpool. The response has been incredibly exciting (and not just because thanks to the great food they serve pre-show at the tables filling the stalls).
We’ve had some reviews, summaries of which I’ll be posting later, but I thought I’d share my favourite comment so far from an audience member on Les Dennis’s performance:
“Well, he hasn’t got the Alzheimer’s has he, what with remembering that speech.”
Here are the comments from our first show report from our Stage Manager Calum Wyllie:
“Utterly adorable audience – responsive, lots of laughter, and lots of chatting back. Great atmosphere and very gentle. Audience member shouted “HOUSE!” in response to the first bingo sound cue; a couple joined in with the last few words of the “when you’re drinking” song; said “aw” on “they wouldn’t let me back – they barred me after that”; someone else shouted out “hear hear” in response to “there’s always someone worse off than you”;
Fireface opens on 28 September at the Young Vic and we’ve just announced the fantastic cast!
Something is wrong with Kurt and Olga. Suffocated by their parents and trapped in a world they despise, it seems like there’s no escape from the endless humiliation of being young. When Olga meets her first boyfriend Paul, Kurt buries himself in a new and explosive hobby. It’s an obsession that will fuel his anger, engulf his sister and threaten to burn their world to the ground.
Rupert Simonian makes his Young Vic debut in the role of Kurt. Past work in theatre includes Simon Stephens’ Three Kingdoms, Punk Rock and A Thousand Stars Explode in the Sky for the Lyric Hammersmith. TV audiences will have seen him in the BAFTA award-winning drama The Appropriate Adult and BBC One thriller Hidden.
Aimeé-Ffion Edwards will play Kurt’s sister Olga. She was most recently in The Recruiting Officer (Donmar Warehouse) and also starred in the Olivier and Tony award-winning Jerusalem (Royal Court/West End/Broadway). Her television roles include Kathy Burke’s autobiographical Walking and Talking, hit BBC series Luther and she played Sketch in E4’s Skins.
David Annen returns to the Young Vic to play Father. David previously performed at the Young Vic in My Dad’s a Birdman and Andorra. Recent theatre includes Complicité’s The Master and Margarita and A Disappearing Number, Measure for Measure and Judgment Day at the Almeida.
Helen Schlesinger plays Mother. Past work in theatre includes von Mayenburg’s The Stone (Royal Court) and Whipping It Up (Bush/West End). Helen will be in the highly anticipated second series of The Hour.
William Postlethwaite joins the cast as Paul. His previous theatre includes Collaborators (NT) and As You Like It (Royal Exchange).
Find out more about Fireface and book your tickets for £10 – £12.50, visit the website.
“Set in 1997 in the back room of a Liverpool working men’s club strewn with boxes of crisps, wholesale booze and mouldering memories, Jigsy is a biting solo comedy about a faded northern stand-up (Les Dennis), who reflects on the masters of his craft during the hour of bingo that punctuates the two halves of his old-fashioned set. Tony Staveacre’s script references Billy Bennett, Eddie Flanagan, Ken Dodd and Tommy Cooper, all brought vividly to life through bravura impersonations that earn big laughs. Dennis inhabits his veteran entertainer with brio, shuffling wearily about the stage with flushed red cheeks as he delivers zinging one-liners laced with nostalgia. Eyes down for a full house of tour-de-force performance and cracking script.” - METRO
“[Les Dennis is] excellent in this role…a tragicomic love letter to a lahcyon age of British comedy” - THE SCOTSMAN
“Dennis transforms himself completely into the eponymous Jigsy, in this funny, touching, nostalgic show” - THE LIST
“Les Dennis nails the role with a performance that is wistful, compassionate and impeccably timed.” - THE STAGE
“His timing is spot on in the play’s well-worn gags, and he has the audience transfixed with his tales of comedians long gone” - FESTMAG
“[Les Dennis] has a play that fits him like a glove” - FINANCIAL TIMES