A CRITICALLY acclaimed and Olivier Award-nominated duo is heading to Barrow.

Ian Ashpitel and Jonty Stephens star in ‘Eric & Ern’, giving an uncanny portrayal of the legendary comedy duo Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise.

Crammed full of renditions of the famous comedy sketches, and coupled with contemporary references in their unique style, the show evokes memories of times when whole families would huddle around the telly on Sunday evenings to share in the much-loved antics of Britain’s national treasures.

As seen on BBC One’s ‘The One Show’ and ITV1’s ‘The Alan Titchmarsh Show’, the performances contain some of the first new writing in the style of Morecambe & Wise material in over 30 years.

Ian Ashpitel and Jonty Stephens have been performing and writing as Eric and Ern for more than five years. The performers themselves have a wonderful relationship with the families and estates of Morecambe & Wise – with all scripts given the families’ seal of approval before being performed.

“I have been fascinated with Eric Morecambe for as long as I can remember,” said Jonty.

“I took on his persona at school and it never really left me. He was the funniest and loveliest of men. We both feel it’s a privilege to play Eric and Ernie and some people have said it’s like we’re channelling them - some nights it does feel like that.”

Ian and Jonty met at drama school over 30 years ago and continued their friendship playing golf together at The Stage Golf Society in Richmond. When Jonty was asked to play Eric at a charity show he knew that Ian would be the perfect Ernie Wise.

Ian said: “We do treasure the relationship we have with each other - as did Eric and Ernie - and I think it’s obvious that we love performing the comedy of Morecambe and Wise.”

Jonty said: “More importantly, the audiences love watching it - which is always handy. But it’s more than just watching a comedy show - there’s a real emotional connection, because we all remember watching it together. The audience reaction has been amazing.

Tickets to the show at The Forum on February 3 can be found at: www.theforumbarrow.co.uk