Les Dawsons: “Flying High” is a tribute and celebration of beloved and much-missed comedy legend Les Dawsons. Actor, comedian and impersonator Jon Culshaw delivers a touching, funny and warm performance in this show which will premiere at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August before touring the country.
Les Dawsons: Flying High brilliantly channels all the emotions such a rich life would provide, providing audiences with anecdotes, incidents and glimpses of Les’s journey as he travels Concorde at twice the speed of sound at 68,000 feet above Earth, in this new play from writer Tim Whitnall and BAFTA and Olivier Award-winning director Bob Golding.
With the intention of going beyond a simple account of Dawson’s life, the play explores contemporary themes such as mortality, identity, love, kindness, spiritual beliefs or even the ambition, which punctuated the life of Les. Whitnall analyzes the concepts we have all faced or will inevitably encounter, as he beautifully recounts the happy times, trials and tribulations of Les’s life. It presents a more philosophical version of the late popular comedian, as he delves into his undoubted literary talent and the origin of such a successful and brilliant life.
Les Dawson: “Flying High’s dramatic foundation is an advantage in constructing the ambiguous tone and style of this ‘hilarious yet humbling; heightened but grounded; poignant but ultimately uplifting story.
Growing up, Les, the self-proclaimed slum kid, yearned to be recognized for his writing prowess and to turn his passion for literature into a full-time profession. Simultaneously, he discovered his ability to make people laugh and carried that ambition into adulthood, reflected in his acclaimed memoir “No Tears for the Clown”. Initially considered a tedious task by Les, this autobiography acted as a wealth of information for Tim Whitnall, offering insights and lessons to be extracted from Dawson’s spectacular flight through life.
From background music to inventive lighting and ingenious sound design, the play uses a variety of audiovisual effects, all helping to create an entertaining, lively and beautiful atmosphere. It’s a must see show for the whole family.
Jon Culshaw is an award-winning comedian and actor, often considered Britain’s finest impressionist. Its catalog includes more than 350 characters, ranging from John Bishop to Barack Obama and from Professor Brian Cox to Michael “Govey Gove”.
In 2018, Culshaw delivered a unique performance as music icon David Bowie in the drama play “The Final Take: Bowie in the Studio” (BBC Radio).
In March 2022, Jon performed “Hughie Green” in another composition by Tim Whitnall, the poignant piece with the music “Lena”. The moving story of the life and career of Lena Zavaroni. In 2021, Jon played legendary documentary filmmaker Alan Whicker in the audio drama “The Far Side of the World” with 2 Best Actor nominations at New York Festivals and OneVoice Awards. In 2020, Jon appeared on Original Theatre’s ‘Barnes’ People’ series, performing Peter Barnes’ monologue ‘Billy and Me’.
As an established entertainer he has appeared on many comedy shows such as Dead Ringers (BBC Radio 4; BBC2) The Impressionable Jon Culshaw and Spitting Image (ITV). Alongside Debra Stephenson, he starred in ‘The Impressions Show (BBC1). Jon regularly joins Big Finish Productions for their Dr Who audio adventures, playing the Third Doctor, Brigadier and Master.
Jon is regularly sought out by radio and television for his popular and incisive impressions of politicians and commentators on shows such as ‘Newscast’, ‘Peston’ and ‘Politics Live’.
Tim’s play Morecambe debuted at the Edinburgh Festival in 2009, winning a Fringe First Award. Transferred to the Duchess Theater in London, the show triumphed at the Laurence Olivier Awards 2010, winning the prize for best entertainment. Published by Concord, the play continues to tour theaters across the UK. Tim’s feature debut, The Hide, was completed in 2008 by Poisson Rouge Pictures/Solution Films for Film Four, receiving its TV premiere in 2009 and theatrical release at ICA. The film made the Times Top 100 list and was later released on DVD. Tim was nominated for his work at the 2010 Writers Guild Awards in the Best First Feature Screenplay category. Best Possible Taste: The Kenny Everett Story, Tim’s BBC Four drama about broadcasting legend ‘Cuddly Ken’, has been nominated for multiple accolades, with Tim winning the Breakthrough Talent Award at the 2013 BAFTA TV Craft Awards. His adaptation Greenshaw’s Folly for Mammoth Screen/ITV’s Agatha Christie’s Marple feature film aired in 2013. In 2021, Tim was commissioned by BBC/Cosmopolitan Pictures to write an episode of their popular BBC One crime series The Mallorca Files. Tim’s original comedy Flying Ducks opened at the Theater Royal, Ramsbottom in September 2021. His most recent play Lena – the powerful true story of former child star, Lena Zavaroni – had a successful premiere at Beacon Arts Centre, Greenock in March 2022, ahead of a national tour in 2023. He is currently developing a slate of film and theater projects, including an adaptation of Bill Bryson’s Notes From a Small Island for Simon Friend Productions.
Bob is an actor, voice actor and director, he has done a variety of plays over his 33 year career, including a previous 5 star Edinburgh fringe festival play, A Man Called Monkhouse and The Scotsman . In 2013, he played in Mr Selfridge (ITV) in the role of Horacio Spendrich, he is also a recurring guest in Watson & Oliver (BBC2). As an actor, he has won several awards, including two Laurence Olivier Award nominations and a win with Tim Whitnall’s solo play Morecambe, Best Actor nomination and Best Entertainment award in 2010.
Registration in Edinburgh:
Show: The Dawsons: Flying High
Dates: August 3, 2022 to August 28, 2022 (except the 16th)
Time: 4:30 p.m. (60 minutes)
Venue: Assembly George Square: Gordon Aikman Theater
Address: 32 George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9LH
Price: £9 (previews) – £17
Tour List Information Dates:
22.09.22 Lancaster – Large
23.09.22 Lincoln – Theater Royal
24.09.22 Salford – Lowry (Quays Theatre)
25.09.22 Newbury – Grain Exchange
30.09.22 Milton Keynes – The Stables
01.10.22 Maidenhead – Norden Farm
02.10.22 Bridgewater – Mcmillian Theater
08.10.10 Bristol – Redgrave Theater
09.10.10 West Super Mare – Playhouse
16.10.22 Shrewsbury – Severn Theater
22.10.22 Briport – Electric Palace
23.10.22 Swindon – Wyvern Theater
03.10.22 Southampton – Mayflower Studios
04.11.22 Wimborne – Tivoli Theater
06.11.22 Bognor Regis – The Regis Theater
13.11.22 Southend – Palace Theater
19.11.22 Liverpool – Theater
10.12.22 Lytham St Annes – Lowther Pavilion
11.12.22 Lytham St Annes – Lowther Pavilion
For tickets visit www.socomedy.co.uk.