Sir Ken Dodd
1927 to 2018
Memories from the Embassy Theatre, Skegness.
It is with great sadness that the whole team here at the Embassy Theatre learn of the death of Sir Ken Dodd. Without doubt, a true icon of British entertainment, Sir Ken was synonymous with the Embassy Theatre and performed for approximately 45 years (in excess of 300 shows) consecutively within the Embassy building and prior to that at the Skegness Pier Theatre alongside other comedy greats including Sir Norman Wisdom and Frankie Howard. He proudly re-opened the Embassy Theatre after the venue was extensively re-modelled and subsequently re-opened on 3rd August 2000.
Ken would often perform well into the early hours, delighting audiences with his unique blend of comedy. His shows would always sell-out to a hugely loyal following. The Ken Dodd Happiness Show was always guaranteed to bring a smile to your face. It is sad to think that he will not perform here again. He always allowed time for this fans and was always ready with a quick gag both on and off stage to keep everyone smiling.
The theatre manager Pollyanne Trapmore-Shaw shares a personal insight…
“The Ken Dodd Happiness Show has been a part of so many lives; I for one feel extremely privileged to have welcomed him, Anne and their little dog into our venue on a professional capacity each year. As a 12 year old I vividly recall sitting in the front stalls at one of Ken’s summer shows here at The Embassy – he picked out my Mum, my sister and I with matching “7 inch pudding basin haircuts – missus” witty, gentle but always well observed and playing perfectly to the family audience. Year after year the houses remained full – the older generation continued “educating” the younger generation in the heritage of what seaside British stand-up should be.
Flasks, Tupperware boxes, cups of coffee all at the 10.45pm interval (which was when any other show would be finished); our sales of Red Bull would rocket on this night alone as the youngsters take on their endurance test – just to keep up with the King of Comedy! His final performance on our stage was on August 2nd 2017 to a packed house. Aged 89, Ken was of course beginning to move a little slower and his show was not quite as long as previous years but his quick fire repartee and plethora of material was still a sight to behold.
The saying goes “behind every great man is a great woman” – from my observation there was no greater than Ken’s, now, wife Anne Jones; watching her work her organisational magic backstage over the years was a true partnership – one that, in my opinion, kept Sir Ken for so many years in the environment that truly lit him up inside – and this was on-stage, in front of his adoring fans.”
His memory will live on through his extensive catalogue of work and we are proud to have been a part of his long and distinguished career. He will always remain in our thoughts as a legend of British comedy.