Today I have a review from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival of an incredibly talented and humorous performance – Les Dawson Flying High performed by Jon Culshaw at the Assembly George Square – Gordon Aikman Theatre – I have put a couple of links to book below, first, onto the set picture and my review.
Les Dawson was one of those comedians that has longevity and comedians and audiences had admired for decades and even as the world changes and he is unfortunately long since passed away (1993), audiences watching tv, still have a right good laugh at his jokes and admire the construct of them and his piano playing skills, as do many modern day comedians.
Jon Culshaw, an impressionist who has great enduring success himself on tv and radio and is perhaps most famous for Dead Ringers and Horrible Histories as well as dramas such as Missing and so much more and has, according to IMDB, got a part in a Doctor Who story in 2023.
For now though, Jon Culshaw brings Les Dawson alive in the most joyous fashion in a one man show – Les Dawson Flying High. He looks like him and sounds like him as he delivers the writing of Tim Whitnall, with aplomb!
Audiences can enjoy watching as “Les Dawson” contemplates and looks back at his life. There is a giant tv screen where, for a short while, it is moving to see Les Dawson watch himself and his creations Cissie and Ada, which he performed with the late Roy Barraclough (who later appeared in the likes of Coronation Street).
It’s fascinating to be whisked into his world, from childhood up to when he became famous and starred in many tv shows, such as Blankety Blank, The Les Dawson Show and so many more…There are jokes galore that had the audience I was in, laughing a lot. There is of course music and songs, a couple which have the words up for audience participation. There are some parts that are a bit more somber and moving. Every inch of this performance also seemed heartfelt.
I’m too young to have been in any audience of Les Dawson’s, but this is how it may well have been for people who were and every second of it brought much laughter, many smiles and that joyous feeling, the signing off with an appeal for kindness, which is as relevant today as it ever was back in Les Dawson’s day and indeed that’s what he wanted the world to have – kindness.
The play felt completely respectful to the late Les Dawson and there are all the aspects that I had expected and indeed any audience would and for newcomers to his comedy and indeed the talented and well-executed impressions of Jon Culshaw, they are in for a treat! Book Here
As I’ve said, I was too young to see Les Dawson on stage, let alone know who he properly was at the time of his death, although at that time, I was starting to realise, just a bit that he filled people’s living rooms and theatres and was in a lot of people’s hearts. I later got introduced to his comedy on tv because my parents had got me to watch it and before long, I grew to enjoy and appreciate it and the talent and skill that he has. I’ve read articles wondering what younger folk who weren’t around in the height of his fame or too young to be watching his shows made of this. Well, I highly recommend it for all adults. This is one to have in your Edinburgh Fringe schedule. Book Here