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Brighton Fringe 2010

Barry Cryer and Ronnie Golden

Barry Cryer and Ronnie Golden

Venue: Freerange


Low Down

A hilarious live show featuring Barry’s formidable one liners and tall stories alongside Ronnie’s amazingly versatile musicianship and musical impressions.


I wasn’t sure what to expect as I joined a seemingly polite throng of mature adults streaming into the Freerange on a gloomy Sunday evening. As I settled down for an evening of gentle humour, I reflected on the wonderful diversity of this venue where only yesterday had I been squashed amongst a huge crowd being swept along by a tsunami of hip hop. But as the lights came up, I soon realised my mistake. The demographic was different, but the intent was the same – this was a celebration of another life stage, marinated in sardonic zest that only age can muster and equally as fun.

As the strains of heavy rock rang out, the audience changed as abruptly as if a jack lead had been re-attached. The ‘seemingly polite throng of mature adults’ had hit town – and we were taking no prisoners, whooping and whistling to the celebratory lyrics of ‘Still Alive’. 
But these fabulous performers weren’t going to let us get stuck in one musical groove. Over the next hour we were led through a magical musical tour of the joys of Country and Western – (‘If you leave me, walk out backwards so I think you’re coming in.’)
On we went on our world music tour as we trailed through Bluegrass style, Zimmer Frame Blues – ‘I woke up this morning and it seems so long ago,’ culminating in a repeat to fade ‘My memory’s shot to pieces and I’ll tell you one more thing…’ ‘Sponsored by Dignitas’, this was not a show  for the faint hearted.
And between the songs, the show moved seamlessly forward through Cryer’s hilarious skills as raconteur.
This was an evening where watching two masters of comedy at play was equally as entertaining as the material that was on offer. Before the event, I didn’t know Ronnie Golden’s work and it’s a sad reflection of the slippery nature of the industry that he hasn’t had the same exposure as his partner. His musical versatility was such that his passionate flamenco lament (helpfully translated by Cryer) was as flawless as each development of his medley that took us through the history of rock ‘n’ roll from Springsteen through Dylan to Bowie.
Ending with a crowd stomping anthem, the transformation was complete. The veneer of the throng that had arrived had been entirely shattered.  I left this show with an aching face from having smiled constantly for the preceding hour. There is clearly a rebellious pensioner in us all battling to escape and this fantastic evening celebrated that with true pride.