Pirates three: Kevin Kline, Rex Smith and Patricia Routledge.
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Graciella- I was lucky enough to see Maggie, who I want to be when I grow up, do Bed Among the Lentils live. It was spectacular.
I’m astounded at the Keeping up the Appearances love (DADDY’S NAKED?!?!). I barely recognised her in that clip.
It would be very interesting to see Hyacinthe play Queen Mary, who must be one of the most difficult persons in history to play the right way. Not just a cold old royal bag, but a very complex character who gave up her humanity to please her husband(George V). Anyone who gets to see the play let us know how Routledge does it.
I was lucky enough to see Pat Routledge do her “Talking Head” called ” A lady of Letters” live in the theatre, as part of a One Woman Show she did in the West End several years ago (I forget the title now) and that was also wonderful. Almost better than the TV version.
She also did some great singing in that show. :)
Maggie Smith was Desdemona against Olivier’s Othello (obviously NOT the opera). She was quite young and Laurence was constantly telling her to speak more clearly and to do her elocution exercises. One night as she passed his open dressing room and saw him putting on the considerable amount of body make-up he wore, she was heard to mutter “How now, brown cow” .
Patricia Routledge was also the star of a little known recording of The Sound of Music, released around the 70’s. In her hey day, with her solid secure singing technique, she could have taught many of today’s ‘upstarts’ a thing or two. She had learned the ‘unmistakeable true craft’ of proper vocal support. I suspect when we are really bitching and moaning about some of today’s ‘young things’ is: we know deep down they are not going to last long, at the game. We just hold out hope that we are proved wrong.
I think Patricia Routledge has a sister who has a Mercedes, a swimming pool and room for a pony. And her number is NOT the Chinese take-away, certainly not on her slimline telephone.
In 1966 Routledge sang several of the Soubrette roles in a complete series of Gilbert and Sullivan operas for the BBC, specifically Iolanthe, Mad Margaret, and Melissa in Princess Ida. And damn, she could sing. Her “He Loves, if in the Bygone Years” is just heart-rending. And She may be the funniest Mad Margaret on Record.
I found myself behind Patricia Routledge in a queue at the Proms last month. She was wearing lilac and supporting an elderly vicar.
This clip is cringe-worthy on so many levels, but I think the thing that bothers me most is the mistaken idea that someone else’s orchestration is better than Sullivan’s original. Much of “Pirates” is a grand opera parody, after all, and this rinky-dink “aren’t we clever and droll?” take on it ruins the joke. It’s much funnier if you take it seriously.
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