Review: An Evening with Ade Edmondson, The Lowry, Manchester, 24th September 2023
I’ve got a complicated relationship with Adrian Edmondson. Quite a sweeping statement, as I think he’s be surprised to hear he was having any sort of relationship with me. But alas yes, for I have been in love with him since the age of 17. While Rik (Mayall his ‘comedy partner’) was the brash, sexy, loud show off, Ade seemed delicate, blonde (such a beautiful floppy fringe) and the sort of lad who’d moon over you.
They were the most yin and yang of comedy couplings, and as Edward Elizabeth Hitler/Catflap/Guy Fuddle/Vim Fuego….Ade was magnificent. But then as the years passed by and Ade took on more ‘actorly’ roles, he sort of became, in my eyes, a bit grumpy. He didn’t want to talk about The Young Ones, and it seemed that Rik may have …. gasp… got on his nerves a bit? WHAT?
Of course, this wasn’t Ade. It was me. My thoughts. Which grew into me becoming convinced that he was now… serious, and perhaps a bit… grumpy?
Jesus Christ. Ade. Whom my son called ‘The farty man’ until he was 10…. serious.
So it was with trepidation that I bought tickets to see one of my heroes on his book tour for his biography, Berserker, at the Lowry Theatre in Manchester. When I say ‘hero’ – I mean it. Yes, I don’t really hero worship celebrities, with some exceptions, Kate Bush, Rik, Ade and …Werner Hertzog (I can’t help it). This was a big deal for me, and I didn’t know what to expect.
We’ve been to quite a few ‘in conversation with’ over the years, and the normal set up is 2 comfy chairs and an interviewer who normally I wish would just shut up, followed by the passing around of a microphone where audience members say things like ‘say your catchphrase’, ‘I love you’ (giggle giggle), or worst of all a very in-depth question that no one else understands, including the celeb.
Like a breath of fresh air Adrian walked on stage, book in hand, no chair, no props and charmed the pants off the audience for 2 hours (with a 20 minute interval).
He spoke about his childhood, life at boarding school, how he started acting, the parts he played from The Young Ones right through to Rain Dogs and Star Wars, and of course meeting Rik.
We had a glimpse into his life (he’s an award winning vegetable grower) and a very touching explanation of why he’s written Berserker. I also gained some understanding to me thinking he was grumpy (which he isn’t). The Young Ones took up just 14 weeks of his life, so who can blame him for not wanting to constantly regurgitate it?
It was a wonderful evening. He was engaged with the audience, he SMILED non-stop, was genuine, funny, and well… just lovely.
He was, and is, everything I hoped he’d be.
Although his floppy blonde hair is a bit thin – I fell in love with him all over again, because it’s pretty obvious, despite only mentioning Jennifer Saunders once (He called her a Goddess), he definitely moons over her even now.
A very entertaining and heartfelt evening. Fantastic.
Review by Tina.