With his trademark fez and flustered face, Tommy Cooper earned his place among the legends of entertainment with endearing charm and a gift for epic failure.
But behind the bungling stage character was razor sharp comedy talent, and whether his tricks worked or not, Cooper himself on stage was always sheer magic.
Now a show recreating the much-loved comedian’s life is coming to the Mill in Banbury on Friday June 17.
In the central role is Liverpool actor Daniel Taylor who shines as the man he once impersonated as a little boy at family parties.
The production celebrates Cooper’s life from early days in the army right up to the height of his television stardom.
Daniel, who has performed extensively in Blood Brothers and more recently as John Lennon in Through A Glass Onion in Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre, is supported by Gareth Jones - formerly TV personality Gaz Top - as Miff Ferrie, and Sharon Byatt as Gwen Cooper.
Daniel said: “Tommy Cooper was given that wonderful and rare gift to make people laugh even just by standing there. His comedy was innocent and appealed to all ages.
“His jokes will stand the test of time and will last for generations to come, as has been proven by the audience reaction to our show. He was also an incredible magician who worked tirelessly at his craft especially when he deliberately made the tricks go wrong.
“I simply aim to bring him back to life – the innocence, mania, look, and of course that infectious laugh of his. There will simply be no entertainer like him again.”
Having discovered early on that ability to do impressions Daniel enjoyed drama at school and went on to study at the Webber Douglas Academy in London.
The show was launched in Liverpool then opened at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and began touring to great acclaim.
Daniel added: “Apart from anything else we try and respect the memory and tell the story. I thought maybe it would appeal to people of my age, but we get a lot of kids coming to see it - sometimes they think I am Tommy. I want to bring him back to life as much as possible.”
The show starys at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £16.50.
Call 01295 279002 or visit www.themillartscentre.co.uk to book.