The BBC Collection 2-DVD Set
2 discs. OPTIONAL SUBTITLES. Comedy. Year: 1964-1972. Black & White & Colour. Running time: 3 hours 35 mins approx.
Joyce Grenfell’s comic career began on stage in the revue Light and Shade in 1939 and she became a much in demand act boosting troop morale in WWII. Later starring in films and on television and radio, she became a household name. The finest moments from her BBC TV show which ran between 1964 and 1972 are collected here; from stand up skits to comic songs at the piano with her accompanist of long standing, Mr. William Blezard, this set showcases Joyce Grenfell’s comedy genius. The six TV shows featured in this set, two broadcast in 1964 and four in 1972, bear witness to her unique talent, with hilarious songs, monologues and sketches from her one woman show. Joyce performs well loved favourites, including the inimitable Lumpy Latimer in the Old Girl’s School Reunion, Mrs Fanshawe who glides ‘stately as a galleon’ across the dancefloor, three lady choristers making a joyful noise in the Royal Albert Hall and of course, Young George, whose unspeakable and mysterious activities in The Nursery School produced the now famous catchphrase ‘George, don’t do that!’
Joyce Grenfell OBE was known for songs and monologues she wrote and performed, at first in revues and later in her solo shows. This set contains two DVDs of songs and sketches written and performed by Joyce Grenfell for the BBC. With very few props, Grenfell assumes different characters, using accents and characterisation. She also sings, with a wonderful voice, in many styles and clearly influenced later comics such as the two Ronnies and characters such as Hyacinth Bucket.
The first DVD features two 1964 shows. Highlights include a French comic opera, with a slightly saucy theme; a sketch called ‘Foreign Fella’ – a frank discussion between a mother and daughter, about the daughter’s new boyfriend, a middle-aged Portugese conjuror! More comedy in a sketch performed by a rather naïve lady in conversation with an author of lewd books. ‘A good place to picnic’ is a hilarious monologue by a lady from East London: “nice view of the road– you got to have something to look at when you’re in the country!” Favourites ‘The Nursery’ with George (don’t do that!); ‘Stately as a Galleon’ and ‘Three Lady Choristors’ also appear.
The second DVD features four 1972 shows. Highlights include: ‘Eng. Lit.’ a well-known sketch featuring the eccentric lady wife of an Oxbridge Professor; ‘A Terrible Worrier’ in which an elderly country lady recounts how she has done a ‘wrong thing’ involving a dead rabbit. A northern lady takes her first flight, to America – “we know what it looks like from films and TV, but I would rather have been surprised!” Another lady realises while in church that she has left the gas on at home and incorporates her fears into the hymn she is singing– ‘my new fur coat is not insured’… and there is a visionary plea for the rights of the individual – a far-sighted anti-computer age ditty against information sharing: “We got the right to be private!”