The Recruiting Officer by George Farquhar, Olivier Theatre, 27 June 1992

I have carried a fondness for this play with me for as long as I can remember, despite it not really being my type of play.

Revisiting my first encounter with it for Ogblog, some 25 years later (August 2017) I can understand why. This was one heck of a good production.

The Theatricalia website has recorded all the cast and crew details, mercifully, so I don’t have to – click here – then gasp in awe and wonderment. What a cast, what a production team.

Photostage has some photos, which you can peruse if you wish – here.

All my notes say is that I went with Bobbie Scully and that we thought it was very good.

I remember thinking Ken Stott was superb – I don’t think I had seen him before. It might have been my first encounter with the excellent Alex Jennings. Des Barrit was also a standout performer, as usual. But in truth the whole cast was good and you can see many names on the list who went on to do bigger and bolder things.

There are no on-line reviews to be found – until now – this one – yay!

I’m not sure what Bobbie and I did about eating afterwards, but in those days we would sometimes eat at the RNT itself – we might well have done that – or sometimes we’d go to The Archduke or somewhere of that ilk nearby.

 

The Lovers, NewsRevue Quickie Voiceover, 25 June 1992

Another unexpected discovery, this one. Credited in my notes to John Random and Gerry Goddin as well as myself. There’s not much of it, so it must have simply been a shared joke at that week’s writers’ meeting.

It was Wimbledon time and the news story that year was Monica Seles’s grunting – see this newspaper article by way of example. 

There was also a movie out at the time, set in 1920’s Indochina, The Lover – click here.

I don’t recall whether or not this quickie was used. Perhaps Messrs Random and/or Goddin do recall:

THE LOVERS
(This quickie is “voice over” throughout)

{The pianist plays a few bars of music that immediately make the listener think of the Orient. It is Indochina in the 1920’s. It is hot. It is steamy. Lust is in the air. These few bars make the listener think of all that. What a pianist.}

 

THE LOVERS:{Orgasmic grunting noises (possibly some male, some female – mainly female) build up rhythmically, eventually reaching a “fingernails digging into the mattress” level of intensity.}

UMPIRE:Deuce. (pronounced juice)

DAN MASKELL:Oh I say. Monica Seles has really come out on top.

UMPIRE:(sounding exhausted) New balls please.

Maxwell’s Wife, NewsRevue Lyric, 21 June 1992

A nasty lyric, but then Maxwell deserved it. I’m not sure whether or not this one was used. Probably not, or if so only briefly.

It has its moments as a lyric:

MAXWELL’S WIFE

(To the Tune of “Mack the Knife”)

 

VERSE 1

The old shark had pearly teeth dear,

And he acted rich and flash;

A fat check book had Bob Maxwell,

But that fat Czech had no cash.

 

VERSE 2

When the old shark took a dive dear,

Filthy lucre rumours spread;

Old age pensions had Bob Maxwell,

And he dumped them in the red.

 

VERSE 3

Now old Bob’s son name of Kevin,

Tried to save the family;

But the game played wasn’t cricket,

At the Maxwell MCC.

 

VERSE 4

Down in Chelsea, early morning, (bo, bo, bo)

Press and coppers spring to life;

“Piss off bastards, we’re still sleeping”,

Yes, that sounds like, Maxwell’s wife.

 

VERSE 5

Maxwell’s rich wife named Pandora,

Raised his bail, proved her rocks;

Kevin Maxwell took the money,

But did not o-pen the box.

 

VERSE 6

Rupert Murdoch, David Stevens,

Lord Rothermere, Conrad Black;

They’ve all boosted circulation,

Now the Maxwell story’s back.

 

(OPTIONAL INSTRUMENTAL, WILD DANCING, CORNY BUSINESS AND END)

Here is a vid of Louis Armstrong singing Mack the Knife:

…and here are the Mack The Knife lyrics.

Drought, Unfinished Fragment Intended For NewsRevue, 21 June 1992

Did I run out of ideas? Did it start raining?

We’ll never know.

Anyway, here is the fragment, which (perhaps mercifully) tails off at the Denis Howell bit…

…perhaps reminiscing about the 1976 Minister For Drought was a dead end.

 DROUGHT

 (To the Tune of “Shout”, For Soloist and {Chorus})

 

We-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-ll

-e-e-e-e-e-e-ll

 

FIRST BIT

You know there’s gonna be a drought, {drought}, Hear the pipes-a thumping, {drought}

There’s no water pumping, {drought}, Put your hose back, {drought},

Come on now{drought}

Go and pay your water bill,{drought}

Yeh pay for every pint,{drought}

yeh yeh yeh yeh yeh{drought}

Pay your bill{pay your bill}

On the meter these days{pay your bill}

Come on come on{pay your bill}

Take one bath in three days{pay your bill}

 

SECOND BIT

Come on now, {drought},

Don’t hose your garden, {save}, Don’t drink the water, {save},

Don’t wash your bottom, {save}, You shouldn’t oughta, {save},

Go thirsty{drought}

Go thirsty{drought}

Go thirsty{drought}

 

THIRD BIT

I still remember, {shoo-bee-doo-wop}, when we had a drought years ago, {shoo-bee-doo-wop},

We had a minister, {shoo-bee-doo-wop}, by the name of Dennis Howell, {shoo-bee-doo-wop},

Here is little Lulu and the Luvvers singing “Shout”:

…and here are the Shout lyrics.

We’re Not Here For The Game, NewsRevue Lyric (Probably Unused), 21 June 1992

I don’t think this one was used, but it reads well – there are some good ideas and some good lines in it.

There must have been some sort of soccer thing happening in Sweden at the time, with English soccer fans disgracing themselves as is their wont…

WE’RE NOT HERE FOR THE GAME

(To the Tune of “Name of the Game”)

 

ONE ENGLISH YOBBO

 

I’ve drunk ten pints, in a short time,

Watching the football in Sweden;

Went round the town, had a good time,

Look, there’s a doorway I peed in.

 

TWO TOLERANT SWEDES

 

They are an impossible race,

Tho’ we give them cheap lagers;

They fight and they mess up the place,

Like the villains in sagas.

 

TWO ENGLISH YOBBOS

 

But you ought to know (sniff),

We’re not here for the game,

We just want beer and Aquavit,

We’re not here for the game,

Cos our soccer’s a load of shit.

 

ONE TOLERANT SWEDE

 

Tell me please, cos I’d like to know,

Why the louts throw up, over my Volvo?

 

TWO TOLERANT, DEPRESSED SWEDES {WITH YOBBOS ON BACKING VOCALS}

 

And it makes us sad {do do}, and it makes us weep {do, do},

We take Mogadon {do do}, or else we cannot sleep;

When it gets us down {do do}, we take Valium {do do},

And when Sweden lose {do do}, we shall try Potassium – {Cyanide} ,

For committing suicide……..

 

THE YOBBOS LAST SEETHING CHORUS {JOINED BY SUICIDAL SWEDES}

 

You ought to know (sniff), oh yes you ought to know (sniff),

We’re not here for the game {they are an impossible race},

We just want beer and Aquavit {they fight and they mess up the place and throw up a lot},

We’re not here for the game,

Cos the soccer’s a load of shit…..

 

(Perhaps the song ends in chaos with the cyanide taking effect on the Swedes and the yobbos beating each other up??  Or perhaps not?)

Here’s a vid of Abba singing “Name Of The Game:

…and here is a link to the lyrics of Name Of The Game.