It deepens like a coastal shelf
Forget "Celebrity" (ahem) Big Brother - you know what would be my idea of the perfect television programme?"An Evening's Diversion" - a re-enactment of a Tudor banquet in a late 1950s idiom. You could have Fanny Craddock cooking the peacock, Johnny getting trouser-stained on the mead, the Black and White Minstrels luting in and the Glazemeister himself as a Henry VIII type figure, perhaps with a nubile Valerie Leon as his concubine. Fantastic!Any ideas how this could this developed?
London Palladium, 1958. The staged is be-decked in the style of the banqueting hall of a large country mansion circa 1538. PETER GLAZE as King Henry VIII and VALERIE LEON as Dolly the Serving GirlGLAZE : Now hurry up with those trenchers, girl. We are entertaining Sir Roderick Maclean this evening, the famous privateer and…oh lord he’s here now!CHARLIE DRAKE (as Sir Roderick Maclean ) enters : DRAKE : (To audience) Hello, my darlings!GLAZE : Maclean?DRAKE : No, I had a bath this morning.GLAZE : We have a well-stuffed bird for you tonight Sir Roderick.DRAKE : I like giving birds a good stuffing!LEON – Oh Sir Roderick! Whoops, do me no harm!Enter Fanny and Johnny Craddock pushing a trolley containing an enormous cooked peacock, head and tail feathers mounted as decoration. F. CRADDOCK – But first, your Majesty….an evening’s diversion..Enter the Black and White Minstrels dressed as radical dissenters, singing and playing lutes. Some are Carrying a life-size effigy of Anne of Cleves MINSTRELSWe smoke grass, We love ass!We want to hug her, we want to bugger!We live on the East Side! We live on the East Side!GLAZE : D-oh! This is absolutely dreadful! Get them off!J. CRADDOCK (drunkenly) – What, knickers?DRAKE – I like the sound of that. In fact, I think I’ll go home and take the wife’s knickers off now. They’re making my balls itch.LEON – Oh Sir Roderick! Whoops, do me no harm!Suddenly, flashers of saltpeter, fire crackers, sound of thunder. Peacock splits open to reveal DANIEL FARSON, dressed as Mephistopheles hidden insideFARSON (jumping up, brandishing flaming trident and winking at audience) – I’m only here for the beer!Audience roars with laugher
And don't forget a young, 15-year-old Tarby playing the dying Edward VI with Bruce Forsythe as Philip of Spain (the Hapsburg chin), waiting in the wings with Mary Tudor played by Petula Clark.
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