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Weekend Pick: A Rutle at the Epstein

Or should that be the Leggy Mountbatten Theatre?

Published on October 12th 2012.


Weekend Pick: A Rutle at the Epstein

LAST weekend Liverpool saw the big push for The Beatles, on the 50th anniversary of their first chart release. It was Fab Four this, Fab Four that.

This week it's even more exciting. A real life Rutle is here. Not only that, but a Rutle who wrote all the songs. A Rutle who was also a Bonzo. The original “Legend In His Own Lunchtime”. 

If you have always thought in the back of your mind "Cheese and Onions", this is the gig for you.

'We must keep the flame burning and
ensure his legacy is never forgotten
in these intellectual dark ages'

Actually, this visit is not about the Rutles, it's mostly about Vivian Stanshall, Innes' late, great, genius oppo in the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. 

Innes joins local actor Mike Livesley at The Epstein tonight and Saturday for a show that encompasses two very different performances. 

Neilinnesweb“How Nice! To Be in England…” sees a cheerful blending of Livesley's acclaimed show. Vivian Stanshall’s Sir Henry at Rawlinson End, alongside a live performance by  Innes, whose back  catalogue includes The Innes Book of Records and Rutland Weekend Television. 

This performance also includes the world premiere of Innes’ film of Stanshall taken during their London art college days. 

Stanshall died in a house fire in 1995. At the time, a recording comeback was on the cards and it is a little known fact that local musician and cove Andy Frizzell, he of the Wizards of Twiddley, was heavily involved in his album.

Livesley says of Stanshall: “One day the work of The Great Man shall receive the recognition and recompense it truly deserves. Neil has already said said statues should be erected in every town square to celebrate Vivian's magnificence. 

Sir Henry And Rawlinson's EndSir Henry And Rawlinson's End

“But those days are not upon us yet. We live in troubled, drab times...but soon all will change. As Vic's buddy George Harrison once said, '”All Things Must Pass”. However, for now, we must all direct our energies into the work that can truly make a difference. We must keep the flame burning and ensure his legacy is never forgotten in these intellectual dark ages.” 

This show harks back to Stanshall's great comic creation, Sir Henry at Rawlinson End, a project concocted by Stanshall during his series of sessions for John Peel during the 70s – before those “intellectual dark ages” kicked in. 

Neil Innes, Roger Ruskin Spear And Vivian StanshallNeil Innes, Roger Ruskin Spear And Vivian Stanshall in the Bonzo days

Livesley's one-man retelling brings to life the weird and wonderful adventures of the inebriated Sir Henry Rawlinson, his dotty wife Great Aunt Florrie, his "unusual" brother Hubert, Mrs E, the rambling and unhygienic cook, Old Scrotum and many other inhabitants of the crumbly Rawlinson End.  

Following on, Innes will perform his own critically acclaimed one-man show – a People's Guide To World Domination.  

When pressed to describe his performance Neil said: “If I could describe what it is I do on stage in a sentence or two, or even a cleverly constructed paragraph, then there would be absolutely no need for me to go on stage and do it.” 

*How Nice! To Be in England, Fri 12th – Sat 13th Oct, 7:30pm. £12.00, The Epstein Theatre, 85 Hanover Street, Liverpool, L1 3DZ. Tickets, £15, from here

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Darth FormbyOctober 14th 2012.

I love the Prefab Four so much that I named five of my daughters after them.

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