Morecambe & Wise came out of live theatre; the comedians learned their craft on the variety and music-hall circuit in the 1940s and 50s. And though both men died long ago, they seem to have a hard time staying away from it. Eric and Little Ern, which opened in the West End last week, is the third hit drama in little more than a decade to recreate and annotate some of the duo's best-known sketches.
This theatrical afterlife began in 2001 with The Play What I Wrote – devised by Hamish McColl, Sean Foley and Eddie Braben – which was such a success in London that it transferred to Broadway. (Perhaps over optimistically, as Eric and Ernie, to their regret,