Saturday, 31 August 2019

A Comedy On This Day: Sez Les (1 September 1973)

 Yorkshire seem to have tightened their belts in allocating the Sez Les budget since 1972. There's only one special guest artiste, only one dance routine, and little in the way of filmed sketches this time round.

 The unisex Irving Davies Dancers have replaced the Les Girls troupe, and they are quite a contrast to their predecessors. This week, they interpret Neil Sedaka's 'I'm A Song (Sing Me)" through the medium of mime. A curly-haired (male) lead dancer stands at the foot of a staircase, in front of the rest of the troupe who are arranged on the steps. All are in Marcel Marceux-type whiteface (something current in music at the time, with Leo Sayer and the Sensational Alex Harvey Band). The lead dancer is awarded a lot of close-ups and performs straight to camera. The effect is alarming. Someone in the team must really like Neil Sedaka because Dana's song is an unremarkable cover version of 'That's When The Music Takes Me'.

 There's a very curious long sketch with Roy Barraclough as a suitor of Dawson's daughter, announcing his intentions to the father. He is a wildly mincing character, and the mixed messages that he gives off cause Dawson to repeatedly respond inappropriately ("A CAMPari? Mind the POUFFE!", etc.). In a bewildering punchline, the suitor removes his cap and wig and reveals himself to actually be a butch fellow. It isn't made very clear why he should have been disguising himself in the first place... It's a frustrating watch, because it's an exciting premise and Roy Barraclough is so good in the role, but ends up as such a pointless skit.

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