Five Reasons To See ... FormbyDate: 26 April 2012
1. George Formby’s music is brilliant. His songs, of which there are hundreds, are skilfully written and are genuinely funny – and not in an ironic “isn’t it funny what people used to laugh at” sort of way.
People are always surprised when they listen closely to the lyrics how outrageous some of them are! Some were even banned by the BBC for being too risqué. They deserve to be heard and played and Formby will feature some of his finest.
2. Beryl Formby. George’s wife Beryl was an astonishing woman with a fearsome reputation. She masterminded his career and was responsible for him becoming Britain’s highest-paid film star. She made many enemies and few people – especially George’s female co-stars, who were terrified by her watchful presence on set – had anything good to say about her.
Despite this, she was impressive in her drive and her efforts during the war displayed a redeeming side to her at odds with the usual perception. The show reveals all about her and her often-strained relationship with her husband
3. The ukulele. It’s an instrument which has rarely been as popular as it is today, and George was a master of it. He famously played a banjo-ukulele, employing revolutionary techniques to achieve his incredibly fast and distinctive sound. Formby tells how he learnt to play so well and will have about as much ukulele playing as people can take before their ears fall off.
4. Clog dancing. Beryl was a championship clog dancer. The show may be the first ever to use Lancashire clog dancing as a story-telling tool. There will be clog dancing, then ukulele playing, and at one point clog dancing and ukulele playing at the same time.
5. It’s only an hour long. See one man play all the characters involved in the fascinating life of George Formby– and still have time to get back home and watch The Apprentice on catch-up television!