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British Comedy

review of "An Audience with Tim Brooke-Taylor" at Cardiff's New Theatre
12/03/2012 19:50 GMT

Posted by lisa

Following is a review of "An Audience with Tim Brooke-Taylor" at Cardiff's New Theatre; this review appears online at http://cardiffian.jomec.co.uk/article/brooke-taylor-delivers-goodie-new-theatre

Note that tickets for the next Audience with TBT at the Perth (Scotland) Festival of Arts on 26 May go on sale on 26 March from http://www.perthfestival.co.uk/event/tim-brooke-taylor/


Brooke-Taylor delivers a Goodie at the New Theatre

Former Goodie Tim Brooke-Taylor lit up Cardiff's New Theatre with a night of witty banter and reflection on his long show business career.
Article | March 6, 2012 - 11:09am | By Cian Murray


What do John Cleese, Orson Welles and Alexander Armstrong all have in common?

The answer is they have all worked with comic actor Tim Brooke Taylor and if the good humoured questions and answers session held in Cardiff's New Theatre is anything to go by, they would all have greatly enjoyed the experience.

The event began with former BBC presenter Chris Searle discussing Brooke-Taylor's college years and his foray into theatre. The witty interactions coupled with some genuine nostalgia reminded the audience why Brooke-Taylor was, and in many cases still is, adored by lovers of comedy.

Brooke-Taylor studied economics and Law in Cambridge but he told the audience his passion lay with making people laugh, ever since he inadvertently got a magic trick wrong and left his classmates in hysterical laughter. This love of comedy sent Brooke-Taylor to the Cambridge Footlights university theatre society.

It was with Footlights Brooke-Taylor met John Cleese, Bill Oddie, Graham Chapman and Jonathan Lynn. Together the group toured the world with the Cambridge Circus. Brooke-Taylor, who was recently made an OBE, remembered this time with great affection although he did maintain that he did not believe it would lead to a career in comedy.

But Brooke-Taylor was always made for a show business career. He told the audience how the headmaster had written on one of his school reports: "If he fails his A-Levels, a career in musical comedy does not look unlikely."

His headmaster wasn't too far off the mark as Brooke-Taylor did make a splash in comedy, initially with At Last the 1948 Show, starring John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Marty Feldman, and then more famously with The Goodies.

As clips from Brooke-Taylor's various performances were shown amid questions from Searle, you couldn't help but feel like you were in the presence of a true comedy great. Brooke-Taylor's wit in describing how the BBC thought Marty Feldman's eyes might be too bizarre for television gave the event a relaxed, conversational mood.

Brooke-Taylor also touched on shows from later on in his career such as I'm Sorry, I Haven't a Clue, during which he said he saw Jack Dee as the perfect replacement for Humphrey Lyttelton, and his brief time working on One Foot in the Grave. He also touched on hisbrief time working with the difficult Orson Welles and on ill-fated medical drama TLC with Alexander Armstrong.

Brooke-Taylor told all his stories in his typically zany manner and concluded a wonderful evening with an audience discussion in which he shared his time generously with everyone.

Clearly, the audience were knowledgeable of Brooke-Taylor and in return he gave them their money's worth.

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