My Kind of Michael
Nick Cassenbaum and Danny Braverman
Nick Cassenbaum and Sian Baxter
With familiar TV themes played by Andy Kelly on accordion and Nick Cassenbaum asking the queue to think about their childhood heroes, the atmosphere for this show is set up early as one of gentle nostalgia.
There’s audience interaction, but not of the scary kind, as Cassenbaum plays storyteller and charismatic entertainer. He shares memories of his childhood hero and with help from the audience stages a This is your life episode for Michael Barrymore.
The emotional heart of the show, however, is his own path to the stage inspired by his Nana Sylvie, her love of comedy and her belief in him. This gives the script real pathos as well as some belly laughs.
The constant switching of narratives means that the piece is uneven in places but Cassenbaum’s charm overrides the issue. His clear affection for his source material keeps the pace jaunty and the inclusion of the ‘Celebre-tree’ reveals the very different ages of audience members!
Hugely enjoyable this show has great warmth and a raggedy charm. It’s a sad reflection on celebrity that the namesake of the piece is now resigned to the footnotes of comedy history.