Those of us who are old enough to remember Larry Grayson will remember the larger than life character who replaced Bruce Forsyth as the host for The Generation Game.
3 Days and 3 Minutes with Larry is a new play by Chris Mellor and directed by John-Jackson Almond based on the events of the three days leading up to what would be Grayson’s final finale, the time when the ageing camp comedian befriended a spiritual healer to get his three-minute act together.
But what many of us watching the 1994 Royal Variety Performance didn’t know was the secrecy surrounding his very last public performance and that shortly after in January 1995 Larry Grayson would sadly die of a perforated appendix.
Larry Grayson at the Rhyl Pavilion for Just One Night
So last night we were taken back to 1994 and spent some time with Larry (played by Ian Parkin) and Mark (played by Lee Peart), in the show that gave us an insight in to what happened during those 3 Days and 3 Minutes of Larry’s life.
This two-man show took us back stage and the relationship between Larry and Mark as Larry ready for that last performance, there were no bells and whistles for the show, the stage was set with a clothes rack, table & chairs and a dressing table, the scene was set for the evening.
Both cast members brought the stage to life with their portrayals of Grayson and Mark, Lee Peart brought Mark across very well with some comedic moments to bring a smile to the audiences faces.
But when it comes to the show, Ian Parkin, who is probably best known as one of the founding members of 4 Poofs and a Piano, brought Larry Grayson to life on the stage, from the voice to the mannerisms that a lot of us will remember from seeing Grayson on stage and screen.
The pair worked so well together, bouncing from one to another seamlessly, as they took us back to 1994 with only a few props, sound effects and their dialogue.
3 Days and 3 Minutes with Larry is a joy to watch, seeing Parkin and Peart on stage, dancing, singing and adding the emotion of those three days along with some wonderful moments for the audience to not only laugh along but also join in with some of the famous catch phrases. Chris Mellor has brought us lovely, but short, new play.
If you do get the chance to catch the show then check it out.