Impressive Impressions on a Sizzling Stage.
There certainly weren’t any Cold Feet at The Ha Ha Club at The Sparrowhawk last Tuesday where in sweltering conditions former Spitting Image impressionist and actor John Thomson took to the stage to entertain a packed sell-out crowd.
Thomson, 44, has returned to stand up after a successful television acting career and I’m very glad he has taken that decision.
I had the pleasure of chatting to him before the gig and I must say that he is a genuinely funny and personable chap. He talked candidly about his return to comedy while illustrating with numerous impressions and at one point had to be told to be quiet because the laughs from backstage were competing with the compare out front.
His act is almost a one-man variety show complete with obligatory dog act and he had the audience in stitches from the minute Sylvester Stallone took to the microphone.
He is a very gifted vocal impersonator and his talents are not restricted to the likes of Frank Spencer he introduces you to a plethora of animal and firearm noises that were simply superb, most notably the ballistic being placed in an anti-tank tube. I’m pretty confident that he’s the only person on the circuit with these skills and who knew that there was a difference between a daytime and a night-time dog.
A few years ago being able to mimic Jimmy Savile would have been par for the course. However, now as he suggested it’s more difficult to shoe-horn those sorts of people in to a current act. But Thomson came up with the novel idea of speaking to him through an Ouija board. You will probably be pleased to know that the former Jim’ll Fix It host is currently burning in the fiery pits of hell as it happens would you believe.
James Bond fans will have loved the “where are they now” part with Sir Sean Connery working in Tesco and Sir Roger Moore in the Post Office and his take on Idris Elba being the next 007 was terrific.
Rolf Harris, Sir Bruce Forsyth, Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Cheetah all make an appearance to name a few. Without giving any of his gags away the set is thoroughly entertaining and was rounded up by some superb rude limericks courtesy of Christopher Walken.
It was a highly amusing routine and would have looked perfectly at home at the Hammersmith Apollo. To be able to watch such a talent upstairs in a pub in Burnley is testament to the reasons why he’s doing it again; because he loves it.
If he’s gigging near you, go and see him. If he isn’t you may be able to catch him later in the year in John Godber’s play September in the Rain with Claire Sweeney which is touring the country from September. You won’t be disappointed.
However, I’m still not quite sure why the next Bond should be Bill Oddie.
You can follow him on twitter @JohnnyThomson2