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The rise and fall of TV favourite Michael Barrymore examined in stage show

PUBLISHED: 07:00 21 May 2019

Nick Cassenbaum's show looks at Michael Barrymore's career. Picture: The Other Richard

Nick Cassenbaum's show looks at Michael Barrymore's career. Picture: The Other Richard

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The rise and fall of controversial television funnyman Michael Barrymore comes under the microscope of a man who hails the comedian as his childhood hero.

Nick Cassenbaum.  Picture: Niall GreenNick Cassenbaum. Picture: Niall Green

Nick Cassenbaum brings his insight to The Woodville, Gravesend, next month in a form of a tribute.

He says it is a "very funny game show styled exploration of the rise and fall of Michael Barrymore".

He is calling it My Kind of Michael and describes it as a heartfelt, passionate and playful tribute.

Nick arrives in Gravesend on June 12 as part of an extensive UK tour.

He says he has loved Barrymore ever since his Nanna Sylvie bought him Barrymore's Best Bites on VHS when he was seven.

Now Nick invites you to share his love, to examine the turbulent relationship between showman and spectator.

Moving between narrative and a Barrymore style game show, Nick and the audience play TV favourites like Strike It Lucky and take part in This is Your Life.

An ever-affable raconteur par excellence, Nick uses his delightfully amiable, charming and warm stage presence, alongside Barrymore's iconic shticks, to weave his own personal stories with tales of Barrymore's rise to fame and ultimate downfall.

And Barrymore hit peaks other performers could only dream of.

The former Butlins Redcoat won TV talent show New Faces in 1975, earning a six-month West End contract where he met his future wife and manager Cheryl St Claire. They wed in '76.

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Barrymore went on to host TV hits like My Kind of People, My Kind of Music, and Kids Say the Funniest Things. He even headlined the Royal Variety Performance in 1993.

He was voted Britain's favourite television star a few times and his bank balance swelled accordingly as millions tuned in every week.

Then there was "that party" on March 31, 2001. Eighteen years later, the death in his pool of Stuart Lubbock still resonates such was the monumental downfall of Barrymore.

Producers and TV companies turned their backs. Barrymore was never charged with anything to do with the drowning death, but he was given a drugs caution by police. Nick said in the early 1980s, Barrymore became one of the best-known faces on TV but his career never recovered from the tragic incident.

Nick said: "Michael Barrymore has always been my hero. I believe he really is one of the best entertainers this country has produced and he has been a big influence on my career and style. I think he is the perfect example of an entertainer who truly loved the audience that loved him.

"Yet that audience was incited to turn their backs on him by the media. I can see parallels in his life and mine and I wanted to explore that, but basically I want people to love him again and celebrate some lovely 80s and 90s nostalgia with me.

"His ceaselessly buoyant delivery keeps things consistently funny."

Nick says he is a storyteller, street performer and theatre maker.

His theatre work has always focused on the way we interact with places and spaces and what that can tell us about ourselves.

He said: "I try to make stories as accessible as possible. I am interested in breaking the convention of theatre where the audience sit quietly, I get them up on stage and hopefully make them feel so comfortable that if they want to talk to me during the show, they can."

Nick's show is on June 13 starting at 8pm.

Tickets are £13.50 and £11.50 available from 08442 439 480 or www.woodville.co.uk.

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