Poignant tribute to Eric

Morecambe play to visit theatre where he died

The hit theatrical tribute to Eric Morecambe is to be performed in the theatre where he suffered his fatal heart attack more than 25 years ago.

Actor Bob Golding is about to hit the road with his acclaimed portrayal of the comic icon following its West End run – beginning with what is sure to be an emotive charity performance at the Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire.

It was there on May 27, 1984, that Morecambe died after performing an evening of anecdotes hosted by his comedian friend Stan Stennett. He made six curtain calls, joking with the band before saying: ‘That's your lot!’ and leaving the stage. He walked into the wings , joked ‘Thank goodness that's over’ before collapsing with his third heart attack. He died in hospital later than night.

The tribute show in Tewkesbury on January 20 is to raise money for The Lady Taverners, of which Morecambe’s widow Joan is a key figure.

Guy Masterson, who directs Morecambe: The Man What Brought Us Sunshine, said: ‘When we first thought about creating a play celebrating the life of Eric Morecambe more than 12 years ago, we completely underestimated the waves of goodwill it would receive.

‘To be invited to present the play at the Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury... the very theatre in which Eric gave his final bow... is a humbling honour but is our way of bidding a proper farewell to the man whose memory we cherish and who left us all wanting more.

‘We can pay Eric no more fitting tribute nor show a greater mark of respect than to give this performance and to donate every penny of the ticket price to Joan Morecambe's favoured charity, The Lady Taverners.’

The show, which premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe last year, has the backing of Morecambe’s family.

Eric’s daughter, Gail Stuart, said: ‘This show is a great homage to my father and to his relationship with Ernie. I left the theatre feeling privileged to be Eric Morecambe’s daughter. ’

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Published: 7 Jan 2010

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