This week Ian Wolf listens to a pygmy hippo and a daughter taking up her father’s passion of murder.
Strap In – It’s Clever Peter
Clever Peter is a sketch troupe featuring Richard Bond, Edward Eales-White and William Hartley, and by the sounds of things a rather good one.
It’s a short programme, consisting of four episodes 15 minutes long, but the sketches in it were entertaining and rather appropriately, clever. Sketches featured an MP who claimed expenses on a pygmy hippo and is then ordered as punishment to kill the Danish ambassador (who actually has a Dutch accent); a diary written in gobbledegook; a man obsessed with lists leaving his girlfriend; and an old woman who has an enterprising way of dealing with door-to-door salesmen.
The humour in it is slightly surreal, but it’s very good, while the performances were energetic. It certainly sounds like Strap In – It’s Clever Peter could build into a more successful programme.
Kind Hearts and Coronets – Like Father, Like Daughter
For me, Kind Hearts and Coronets is my favourite of the Ealing Comedies. As a result I was somewhat worried by the fact that someone would want to make a sequel to it.
In this story, following the death of Duke Louis (Dennis Price in the film), his wife Lady Edith takes the title, refusing to recognise the claim issued by Louis’s biological daughter Unity Holland (played by Natalie Walter). Unity decides to get the title the old fashioned way – murdering all the other claimants…
The story sees Unity beginning her murder spree in 1939, through World War Two and after it. She then starts to kill the seven claimants: Lady Edith Gascoyne, fighter pilot Louis Gascoyne, spiv Henry Gascoyne, far-right twins Adalbert and Ughtred Gascoyne, socialist Marmaduke Gascoyne, and rubbish poet Ronald Gascoyne, all of whom are played by Alistair McGowan.
McGowan obviously has it easier than Guinness did. For starters, two of the characters are twins so they can have the same sort of voice. Also, Marmaduke suffers from a stutter so that gives another silly voice to play with.
However, it seems to have pulled it off. I don’t think that this story is in any way a sort of sacrilege against the original; after all, the film changes bits from the original novel (in the novel the murderer was half-Jewish, not half-Italian).
An entertaining tale, then, with a nice story and set up…