Ah, The Good Old Days

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    I have been recently working on a personal project, to bring back to the theatre a version of the wonderful BBC TV production of the ‘The Good Old Days' (1953 – 1983)

    Now before some of you ‘Whipper Snappers' and ‘Racing Snakes' out there ask “What the Billy Flip is the ‘The Good Old Days'” have a look at this youtube link (and for those of you old enough to know what I mean…have a look anyway, it's a great giggle)

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULr3r5KAHpE

    and this my dear friends is where I need your help.

    Would anyone know where I can obtain copies of the original BBC scripts? Would they be Copyrighted?

    Do you still think we as a profession have the vaudevillian talent or is it a dying art?

    Is this something audiences would still like to see?

    Do we still have the theatre's out there to put this type of show on?

    Am I wasting my time? As someone else has already done it!!!!! and if so Who? and When?

    and finally, What pitfalls can I expect?

    Friends, any help you can provide will be a big favour to me and in eager anticipation of the millions of responses (CCP standby for your server to crash...hehe) this will generate I would like to close with the help of that great vaudevillian Arthur Askey's closing catchphrase

    "Ay-Thang-Yew"

    • 6th Oct 2016
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    In this context... several names pop up.

    Names of people who had/have the ability to rock people in their seats with laughter, and then turn the coin and bring them close to tears. An incredibly rare talent... Max Wall, Eric Sykes, Ken Dodd ... all of whom, had spent most of their lives perfecting the art of making people laugh !!!!! ... God bless 'em.

    • 16th Jul 2009
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  • Jonathan Goodwin

    Actor

    Along with Liz Smith (Gor' Bless 'Er!) - rare talents indeed.

    • 16th Jul 2009
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    Allan/Jonathan - You are both so right, I know resently we have been talking on this forum about various training methods people use to master our craft, but, these wonderful, talented and truly gifted people have all entered the profession in the old vaudevillian tradition - The School of Hard Knocks - Variety Theatre.

    I think thats why I love 'Old Time Music Hall' so much, these individuals had a passion, they had little to no training, they just knew they had to entertain, creating their own stage persona, building their act and going out there raw not knowing what to expect...Some made it, and some fell by the wayside...but they all had something in common...Guts

    Cheerio

    Steve

    • 16th Jul 2009
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    Went to see Ken Dodd appearing in Manchester ..... His one hour spot morphed in to just short of two hours !!! I was fully weakened by the experience, through laughing. When running through the show, later that night, it dawned on me that Ken never uttered one swear word ... not one.

    Todays Comics can't stand for two minutes without falling foul.

    • 16th Jul 2009
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  • Jonathan Goodwin

    Actor

    I agree. Ken and his ilk were very much in the tradition of Feste, the Shakespearean Fool, et al, as opposed to the more cynical/world weary breed we have today. Still, both reflect the times in which they were in their pomp - it's a pity nowadays oozes such malaise!

    • 16th Jul 2009
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    Going back to my visit to Cromer Pier, Allan, this was your typical seaside theatre show...Of course Max Wall, singers, dancers, magicians, jugglers and a couple of comics, but not once did my Uncle and Aunt have to think twice about taking their little Stevey to see the show...because it was good wholesome family entertainment

    Sadly some of these up and coming comics and Showmen use swear words as punctuation marks, indeed most of this type of language has little or no comedic effect and adds nothing to the punchline.

    God I sound like a real square, dont get me wrong for dramatic effect the use of bad language is a weapon in any performers arsenal, and like every weapon it should be used only when needed.

    Toodle-pip

    Steve

    • 16th Jul 2009
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  • Jonathan Goodwin

    Actor

    I can't help feel this world would be a much twinklier place to live in were "tootle-pip", "tally ho!" and "tatty-bye" used as cuss-terms instead....

    • 16th Jul 2009
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  • Toni Brooks

    Actor

    I used to love watching the Good Old Days and have done some music hall stuff. Re swearing - one of the best alternatives I heard was in an American TV series The 10th Kingdom (which had loads of English actors in it which was a GOOD thing). This was uttered by the trolls: 'Arrgh suck an elf'. Cracked me up every time I heard it :-))

    • 16th Jul 2009
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  • Hugh Osborne

    Actor

    Re Max Wall: that would have been Krapp's Last Tape by Samuel Beckett.

    As to the general theme of the thread, have you checked the website of the Players' Theatre (as opposed to the NEW Players' Theatre under Charing Cross)?

    Hx

    • 16th Jul 2009
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  • Mark Kempner

    Actor

    Its a proven formula which still works if staged and put accross well. My Co has been providing a victorian mellodrama comedy murder mystery for years and the audiences love it.

    The chemistry is the friendly connection between the artistes and the audience....a kind of interactive reaction called for by the artiste/s

    If you PM me I'll tell you more, and would be keen to see if we can't combine ideas and or help each other develop this.

    TV: I think you'd struggle to get TV Co's to take interest.....but its worth bashing ideas to see if one can incorporate or arrive at some sort of unique twist/idea.

    The corporate market is what makes it pay......or you would need a slick show to take on tour.....but if you take artistes wages, venue hire, costumes and stageing costs into consideration....to do this for profit on a general public angle would be hard I think.

    • 17th Jul 2009
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    Did some Victorian melodrama comedies myself many years ago, they were an absolute hoot! As for swearing, I think if you can't make anyone laugh without swearing then you're in the wrong game mate!

    xx

    • 17th Jul 2009
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  • Jonathan Goodwin

    Actor

    I couldn't agree more, Eliza - and what a splendidly Victorian name you have there, madame!

    • 17th Jul 2009
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    Good Morning, one and all.

    Hugh - Thank you so much for your reply...Yes!!! That was it. Bless you for that, it has been racking my brain for the last few days, I almost thought my head was playing tricks and that I had imagined see Max Wall in such a play...I can die a happy man now (in about 40-50 years time, if thats OK with you??)

    Mark - This type of genre seems to always excite, with the mixture of clothes, music, atmosphere and of course the implied risque naughtiness. I fully take onboard your points and very valid they are too. I have been truly amazed at the level of both support and offers of help I have recieved from friends on here, and deeply touched by the responses this thread has created, I will be in touch and thank you for the invitation to do so.

    Eliza - I am hooked to that period in our history, as soon as I see anything on TV with a Victorian melodrama theme...I'm there. I'll tell you this story of a very good friend of mine who was playing a very small part in a local theatre group.He was playing the part of Inspector Craddock of the Yard and he only appeared in the last scene and speaking the last words, but they were the key words linking the whole play together...When asked "Are you Inspector Craddock of the Yard?" all he had to say was "I am". Well he rehearsed and rehearsed, trying to say these words in different styles (Noel Coward, Orson Wells and Sir John Gielgud to name but a few) come the night, I went back stage to see the cast and I could hear my friend...I am,(Noel Coward) I am,(Orson Walls) I am (Sir John Gielgud) Rehearsing..I wished him break a leg and went back to my seat, the play was great, the final scene came and out walks my friend..."Are you Inspector Craddock of the Yard?" and in his best (as it turns out Orson Wells) voice he says "Am I?". I dont know about anyone else, but I bust into laughter and almost wet myself as the curtain fell...for me that moment was priceless.

    toodle-oo

    Steve

    • 17th Jul 2009
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  • Dan Gregory

    Actor

    Always worth trying Ebay

    cgi.ebay.co.uk/THE-GOOD-OLD-DAYS-SCRIPT---RECORDED-18TH-FEB.-1979_W0QQitemZ140326982268QQcmdZViewItemQQimsxZ20090616?IMSfp=TL090616024009r9609

    • 17th Jul 2009
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  • Joyce Howard

    Actor

    Hi Steve,

    I performed my own spot a couple of times in The Good Old Days on TV and a in a stage presentation.

    As a young girl just starting out, it was a joy to work with real pro's.

    It's fascinating to read the replies you have had. You're very welcome to contact me and I could probably fill a book with stories!

    I write TV comedy now, and of course it's a different world, but it's nice to remember those other days though.

    Best

    Joyce Howard

    • 17th Jul 2009
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  • Joyce Howard

    Actor

    Very late I know but just for info I appeared in The Good Old Days

    Clive Dunn was the top and a comic called Duggie Brown was also there.

    Best

    Joyce Howard

    • 6th Oct 2016
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  • User Deleted

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    BBC writers room have a script library, maybe its available there. See link below www.bbc.co.uk/writersroom/scripts

    • 6th Oct 2016
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  • Dan Gregory

    Actor

    ? This thread is 7 years old

    • 6th Oct 2016
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