Play: Surviving Spike! Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, 2008

I saw Michael Barrymore in a play called Surviving Spike! at the Edinburgh Festival in 2008.  Barrymore was attempting to make a comeback after a very successful award-winning yet troubled comic career.

In 2008, it was announced that Barrymore was to appear at the Fringe and star as comic legend Spike Milligan alongside actress Jill Halfpenny as Milligan’s Secretary Norma Farnes.  Before the play started, I could sense in the audience that there were mixed feelings at about the comedian’s return but when the play started Barrymore the versatile funny performer took over and I remember a highlight in particular that he had to deliver a speech whilst standing on his head which was brilliantly funny.  Barrymore worked hard to capture Milligan’s zaniness and surreal humour and although the play’s run at the festival was a success, it did not transfer to another theatre and Barrymore again retreated back from the spotlight.


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