Michael Barrymore

Previewed 15 September 2003, Opened 16 September 2003, Closed 18 September 2003 at the Wyndham's Theatre in London

The award-winning comedian Michael Barrymore in London, following a sell-out tour of Australia and New Zealand.

Physical, lively and displaying all the versatility that put him at the forefront of British entertainment, Michael's new show will confirm his reputation as one of Britain's top male entertainers. Every night will be special and different, and with Barrymore's unique improvisational skill - who knows that might happen?

This show was scheduled to run up to 11 October 2003, then after a two week break (during which Bill Bailey performed his show here at the Wyndham's Theatre), to return from 20 October to 8 November 2003. Unfortunately, four days into the run, Barrymore pulled out of performances and the run was cancelled. Presented as part of the 'Kings of Comedy' Season which includes Bill Bailey and Lenny Henry.

"Michael Barrymore returned to the place he loves best - centre stage - last night and found he still has an audience. And say what you like about the controversial comic, he knows how to work the punters. His scripted jokes and routines had all the timing of a clapped out Ford Escort but the fans lapped it up and begged for more. Whether the launch of his one-man West End show last night was really the start of his TV comeback only time will tell - but a standing ovation was a good start... It was all good knockabout stuff, typical Barrymore despite the odd stumble over his script. But he has many more fans to win over yet." The Daily Mirror

"To say that sitting through Michael Barrymore's comeback show is like watching a train crash tells only half the story. Most of the time, it is much worse than that... Yet the strangest aspect of this evening is that I came away liking the fallen entertainer more than I expected... The truly inspired moments in this evening -w hich are, it has to be said, few and far between - are proof that Barrymore possesses a rare talent for controlled anarchy. Sadly, for most of this evening he squanders it on astonishingly puerile gags, end-of-the-pier singalongs and semi-coherent monologues... In the end, all you can do is imagine how good he would be with half a script to work from. It is a tantalising thought." The Times

"After a successful tour in Australia and New Zealand, Michael Barrymore has returned to the West End... Despite effortlessly taking the audience through a scrapbook of comedy doodles and ditties, Barrymore knows he's having a difficult time... For the most part, here is a man who often looks like he is not enjoying his routine and seems hardly bothered if the rest of us are. During the course of the evening you wonder if it is Barrymore's audience who are funny rather than the man himself. Their reverence for him produces amusing spurts of sycophancy and their willingness to say hello or shout out to him is not diminished by his less-than-playful put-downs. Here at least he is given the chance to demonstrate some tried and tested lines." The Independent

"Michael Barrymore's Live! On Stage at the Wyndham's Theatre was also the worst: the audience participation. The evening had begun promisingly enough, with the comedian warbling his way through an old-fashioned opening number - 'I don't know why I love you but I do' - accompanied by winks, big gestures and shoe shuffles. He was Mr Saturday Night and the audience was on his side. If only he had ended the show there. Instead he descended into a fiery comedy hell of his own making. He told racist jokes. He told vulgar jokes. He told jokes that weren't even funny the first time you heard them in the playground. The audience cringed. He struggled... Towards the end it was like watching a wounded animal and when Barrymore came on in a pink leotard and simulated being given a blow job, my embarrassment threshold was crossed. I had to leave. Clearly I wasn't the only one because, two days after opening his show, Barrymore decided to cancel it." The Sunday Telegraph

Michael Barrymore in London at the Wyndham's Theatre previewed from 15 September 2003, opened on 16 September 2003 and closed on 18 September 2003.