Review: A Rebel Without A Pause

A Rebel Without A Pause

Lyric Theatre until

Saturday 5th November 2017

The audience thought they knew Frank Carson but once actor Dan Gordon took the stage at the Lyric Theatre we discovered a new side to the comedian, all the jokes and one liners are there.

“I don’t think my wife likes me very much. When I had a heart attack she wrote for an ambulance.”

They punctuate the story line as we listen to his life growing up in Little Italy in the dock area, joining the Belfast Newsboy’s Club, as a member of The Parachute Regiment fighting in Palestine, his experience in a hotel suite with a member of the Royal family and appearing in the Royal Variety Programme, at one stage he even becomes Pope John Paul.

In just over an hour, ‘Carson’ took us through his life, emotional as he talks about his family, his brother Johnny who drowned at sea when he was only 16. Throughout his story, he talks to Johnny, wishes he was still around to share his success, the boy is always in his thoughts. When he appears on This Is Your Life he whispers: ‘This is for you Johnny.’

He was Mayor of Balbriggan Co. Dublin, and became King of Blackpool when he and his wife moved there to live and be nearer the comedy club action.

“I rang British Telecom. I said, “I want to report a nuisance caller.” He said: “Not you again.” It’s a cracker.

Dan Gordon has taken three years to perfect a perfect performance, a clever script and he’s Carson to a tee. With only a chair in a magenta spotlight and five posters he unfurled at the appropriate time, the only other prop is a stand mic. Even as he is talking to us about the most sensitive things he will suddenly stride to the mic and come off with his hilarious one liners.

“A man says to the doctor: “What’s the good news?” “You’ve got 24 hours to live.” He says: “What’s the bad news?” The doctor says: “We should have told you yesterday.”

He hardly pauses for breath.

“It’s my wife Ruth’s birthday soon. I said to her: “What would you like for your birthday?” She said: “I want a divorce.” I said: “I wasn’t planning on spending that much.”

He talks of the cabaret club circuit, the phenomenal success of The Comedians television show, of going from £35 to £350 for a gig but always remembering the advice he got as a child, you don’t just come by money, you have to earn it. Well, Dan Gordon certainly earned not only his wage but the admiration of the audience too.

“Have you heard about the Irishman who reversed into a car boot sale and sold the engine?”

It’s the way he tells ‘em!

A very special evening.

Anne Hailes

Post Author: Belfast Times

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