The TV comedian / entertainer who has just completed a smash hit run of Jolson in Canada has stepped into Dudley Moore’s shoes for a season of pantomime at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton, on Britain’s South Coast. Poor Dud has undergone heart surgery and will not therefore be able to perform as “Buttons” in Cinderella.
Conley is hugely popular in the UK. His performance as Jolson at the Victoria Palace theatre in the West End was breathtaking. Literally. It is a mark of his love of Show Business that Brian is appearing in the panto at such short notice. Normally he would have to be booked at least 18 months in advance.
Cinderella is being produced by the Panto King Paul Elliott, who also produced Jolson. Conley is slated to do Jolson in Australia next year, but no dates as yet.
It is, of course, a tragedy that Dud will not be appearing. We haven’t seen him on stage for far too long. At least 15 years. His last appearance was in Behind the Fridge (a sequel to Beyond The Fringe) after which Dud scarpered to Hollywood to do Ten. Let’s hope that Dud makes a speedy recovery and that we see him on stage again. (Did you know that Dud played the Woody Allen particularly in Play It Again Samwhen it was presented in London?).
--By Ashley Herman