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Goodbye The (After) Life of Cook & Moore

Jonathan Hansler & Clive Greenwood
Museum of Comedy
Museum of Comedy

It’s well known in life Peter Cook and Dudley Moore burnt the candle at both ends, often partying until dawn, drinking to excess and generally enjoying the privileges that came with being the biggest comedy duo of the time.

It’s therefore no surprise that when the pair are reunited in ‘limbo’, or purgatory to the Catholic readers, it would take the form of a musty old retro-looking saloon with flat beer and cheap liqueurs.

Co-writers and actors Jonathan Hansler who plays Cook and Clive Greenwood whose versatility shines in a number of cameo outings as Tony Hancock and Peter Sellers amongst others, reunite Cook and Moore in this unearthly venue so they can be judged for the short comings of their 1970s characters Derek & Clive.

With little resolve, it’s all much of an anticlimax, but a turbulent one at that, as they spend time dissecting their relationship and decisions made whilst down on earth.

Kev Orkian as Moore nails the vulnerability and insecurity he had as a man dealing with many demons. As you’d expect, given that it’s playing in the vaults at the Museum of Comedy, there’s an element of comedy involved, mostly similar to the dry wit and unique sense of humour for which Cook and Moore were known.

Of course, being a homage to Derek & Clive, there’s also a healthy splattering of vile language, derogatory remarks and generally rudeness, again similar to the sort of stuff they use to dish out when they were at the top of their game.

There’s no doubt there’s an appetite for lovers of Cook and Moore to see them back together again, doing what they do best, knocking back the booze, being obnoxious and utterly un-PC to each other and others with a brand of comedy clearly of a certain generation and for a certain generation.

For those of us new to their kind of humour, it’s refreshing to see comedians stick their fingers up at the rule book, being themselves and stepping out of the preverbal box; but that’s where the compliments end.

I fear we’ve moved well beyond this flavour of ‘comedy’ so much so that it should be archived in the box alongside the vulgar rants of Alf Garnett and Roy Chubby Brown.

Reviewer: Thomas Magill