Play: Testament of Yootha: Gilded Balloon Teviot, Edinburgh, 2019
Play: Testament of Yootha: Museum of Comedy, London, 2020
I have read many comedy autobiographies over the years and since 2005 when I have been going to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, there have been plays devoted to a comedy actors or comic legends. In 2009, Bob Golding brought back Eric Morecambe to the stage, in 2011 Clive Mantle was superb as Tommy Cooper, in 2015 Simon Cartwright did an uncanny impersonation of Bob Monkhouse and in 2018, Liam Tobin recreated Benny Hill.
However, in 2019, the actress Caroline Cooke delivered an incredible portrayal of comic actress Yootha Joyce in the play Testament of Yootha, capturing all the mannerisms and likeness of the much-loved star. Also written by Cooke, the story of Joyce’s career where fame took its alcoholic early death toll, starts from her troubled childhood and goes on to find household fame in the 1970s as Mildred Roper in Man About The House and George and Mildred. The performance was so immaculate that I went to see the play again on tour at the Museum of Comedy in 2020.