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Encyclopedia > Beyond the Fringe
Album of "Beyond the Fringe" Published by EMI in 1996
Album of "Beyond the Fringe" Published by EMI in 1996

Beyond the Fringe was a British comedy stage revue written and performed by Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett and Jonathan Miller. It played in Britain's West End and on New York's Broadway in the early 1960s. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1124x931, 1005 KB) Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1124x931, 1005 KB) Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... The EMI Group is a major record label, based in Kensington in London, in the United Kingdom. ... 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ... Comedy is the use of humor in the form of theater, where it simply referred to a play with a happy ending, in contrast to a tragedy. ... Peter Edward Cook (17 November 1937–9 January 1995) was an English satirist, writer and comedian who is widely regarded as the leading figure in the British satire boom of the 1960s. ... Dudley Moore Dudley Moore, CBE (April 19, 1935 – March 27, 2002), was a British musician, actor and comedian who was enormously popular in his home country for many years but relatively unknown in the United States until he made the film 10 with Bo Derek. ... Published by Faber/Profile Books in 2005 Alan Bennett (born May 9, 1934) is an English author and actor famous for his work, schoolboy-like appearance and his sonorous Yorkshire accent. ... Sir Jonathan Wolfe Miller, CBE (born July 21, 1934) is a British physician, theatre and opera director and television presenter. ... // West End theatre is a popular term for mainstream professional theatre in London, or sometimes more specifically for shows staged in the large theatres of Londons Theatreland . Along with New Yorks Broadway Theatre, West End theatre is usually considered to represent the highest level of theatre in the... Official language(s) None, English de facto Capital Albany Largest city New York City Area  Ranked 27th  - Total 141,205 km²  (54,520 sq. ... Broadway theatre is often considered the highest professional form of theatre in the United States. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from 1961 to 1970, inclusive. ...

Contents


The show

The show was conceived in 1960 by Roger Ponsonby, artistic director for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, with the idea of bringing together the best of the Cambridge Footlights and the Oxford Revue that in previous years had transferred to Edinburgh for short runs. Ponsonby's assistant was John Bassett, who knew Dudley Moore, who in turn recommended Alan Bennett who had been a hit at Edinburgh a few years before. Bassett also identified Miller who had been a Footlights star in 1957 who in turn recommended Cook. While Bennett and Miller were already pursuing traditional careers, Cook had an agent due to him having written a west end revue for Kenneth Williams; as a result Cook's agent negotiated a higher weekly fee for him to participate but by the time the agents fee was taken off Cook actually earned less than the others from the initial run. 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1960 calendar). ... Categories: Festival stubs | Edinburgh ... Cambridge University Footlights Dramatic Club, commonly referred to simply as the Footlights, is an amateur theatrical club in Cambridge, England, run by the students of Cambridge University. ... The Honourable John White Hughes Bassett, PC , CC , O.Ont (August 25, 1915 – April 27, 1998) was a Canadian publisher and media baron. ... Dudley Moore Dudley Moore, CBE (April 19, 1935 – March 27, 2002), was a British musician, actor and comedian who was enormously popular in his home country for many years but relatively unknown in the United States until he made the film 10 with Bo Derek. ... 1957 (MCMLVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Kenneth Charles Williams (22 February 1926 – 15 April 1988) was a British comic actor, star of over twenty films and notable radio comedies with Tony Hancock and Kenneth Horne, as well as a witty raconteur on a wide range of subjects. ...


The show's runs in Edinburgh and the provinces had a lukewarm response but when it transferred to London, produced by Donald Albery and William Donaldson, it was a sensation thanks in some part to a favorable review by Kenneth Tynan. The show transferred with its original cast to New York in 1962 with President Kennedy attending a performance. A version continued to run there until 1964, while a London run with different cast continued to 1966. Sir Donald Arthur Rolleston Albery (June 19, 1914 - September 14, 1988) was a British theatre impressario who did much to make the spirit of adventure of the London of the 1960s into theatrical reality. ... William Donaldson (January 4, 1935 - June 22, 2005) was a British satirist, writer, rake and playboy, author of The Henry Root Letters. ... Kenneth Peacock Tynan (April 2, 1927 - July 26, 1980), was an influential (and occasionally controversial) British theatre critic and author. ... 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar). ... JFK redirects here. ... 1964 (MCMLXIV) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1964 calendar). ... 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1966 calendar). ...


The majority of sketches were by Cook based on material written for other revues, including "One Leg Too Few". Amongst the entirely new material the stand outs are "The End of the World", "TVPM" and "The Great Train Robbery". Cook and Moore revived some of the sketches on their later television and stage shows, most famously the two hander 'One Leg Too Few' in which Cook played a theatrical producer auditioning a one legged Moore for the part of Tarzan. One Leg Too Few is a famous comedy sketch written by Peter Cook and performed by Cook and Dudley Moore. ... A theatrical producer is a type of producer who oversees the staging of theatre productions. ... James H. Pierce and Joan Burroughs Pierce starred in the 1932-34 Tarzan radio series Tarzan, a character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, first appeared in the 1914 novel Tarzan of the Apes, and then in twenty-three sequels. ...


It had a drastic effect on the careers of Bennett and Miller, who had been preparing for lives in academia and medicine. The show continued in New York with most of the original cast until 1964 while the London version continued with a different cast until 1966. 1964 (MCMLXIV) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1964 calendar). ... 1966 (MCMLXVI) was a common year starting on Saturday (the link is to a full 1966 calendar). ...


Controversy

The revue was widely seen to be ahead of its time, both in its unapolagetic willingness to debunk figures of authority, and by its inherently surrealistic comedic vein. Humiliation of authority was something only previously delved into in the Goon Show, with such figures as [Winston Churchill ] and [Harold MacMillan ] coming under special scrutiny--although the BBC were quick to frown upon it. Mr MacMillan -according to Cook- was not particularly fond of the slurred caricature and charade of senile forgetfulness (marked by a failure to coherently pronounce 'Conservative Party') handed down on him in Cooks' impersonation. Since Beyond the Fringe was not owned by the BBC, however, the troupe had the artistic licence to do as they saw fit. Most specifically, its lampooning of the British War effort was scorned by some war veterans for its supposed insensitivity when touching upon the issue of warzone fatalities. (One British visitor to the Broadway performance was said to have stood up and shouted 'rotters!' at a sketch he found distasteful, before apparantly sitting down again and enjoying the remainder of the show.) In response to this the Beyond the Fringe team insisted that they were not ridiculing the hundreds of fatalities therein, but were challenging the perceptions held by a small proportion of the British media, via the avenue of comedic expression


Influence

Many see Beyond the Fringe as the forerunner to British television programmes That Was The Week That Was, At Last the 1948 Show and Monty Python's Flying Circus, That Was The Week That Was, also known as TW3, was a satirical television comedy programme that aired on BBC Television in 1962 and 1963. ... From top to bottom: Aimi MacDonald, Graham Chapman, Marty Feldman, Tim Brooke-Taylor, and John Cleese. ... It has been suggested that Monty Pythons Flying Circus (stage version) be merged into this article or section. ...


As with the established comedy review it was a series of satirical sketches and musical pieces using a minimal set looking at events of the day. It effectively represented the views and disappointments of the first generation of British people to grow up after World War II and gave voice to a sense of the loss of national purpose with the end of the British Empire. Although all the cast contributed material the most often-quoted pieces were those by Cook many of which had appeared before in his Cambridge Footlights revues. The show broke new ground with Peter Cook's impression of then Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. Satire is a literary technique of writing or art which exposes the follies of its subject (for example, individuals, organizations, or states) to ridicule, often as an intended means of provoking or preventing change. ... Combatants Allies: Poland, British Commonwealth, France/Free France, Soviet Union, United States, China, and others Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, Japan, and others Casualties Military dead: 17 million Civilian dead: 33 million Total dead: 50 million Military dead: 8 million Civilian dead: 4 million Total dead: 12 million World War II... The British Empire in 1897, marked in pink, the traditional colour for Imperial British dominions on maps. ... Cambridge University Footlights Dramatic Club, commonly referred to simply as the Footlights, is an amateur theatrical club in Cambridge, England, run by the students of Cambridge University. ... The Right Honourable Maurice Harold Macmillan, 1st Earl of Stockton, OM, PC (10 February 1894–29 December 1986), nicknamed Supermac and Mac the Knife, was a British Conservative politician and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1957 to 1963. ...


The show is credited with giving many other performers the courage to be satirical and more improvised in their manner, and broke the conventions of not lampooning the government of the day or the Royal Family. However the show wasn't all that satirical, merely making fun of things — such as the war films — however even this was a step forward in comedy. Shakespearean drama was another target of their comedy. Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ...


There were a number of songs in the show, mainly using music by Dudley Moore. Some have credited it with the rise of the Satire Boom of the 1960s. Without it there may not have been any That Was The Week That Was or Private Eye magazine, which originated at the same time, survived partly due to financial support from Peter Cook, and served as partial model for the later American Spy Magazine. Cook and Moore formed a comedy team and appeared in the popular television show Not Only... But Also and the 1966 film Bedazzled. The Establishment Club was also launched around this time. Many of the members of Monty Python recall being inspired by Beyond the Fringe. The satire boom is a general term to describe the emergence of a generation of English satirical writers, journalists and performers at the end of the 1950s. ... That Was The Week That Was, also known as TW3, was a satirical television comedy programme that aired on BBC Television in 1962 and 1963. ... Private eye may mean: Look up Private eye on Wiktionary, the free dictionary Private Eye a fortnightly British satirical magazine-newspaper, edited by Ian Hislop (as of 2005) A private investigator, a private detective for hire (see also crime fiction and detective fiction) Private Eye, a song by Alkaline Trio... Spy magazine was founded in 1986 by Kurt Andersen and E. Graydon Carter. ... Not Only. ... Bedazzled can refer to: 1967 comic movie; see: Bedazzled (1967 movie) 2000 comic movie; see: Bedazzled (2000 movie) This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... The Monty Python troupe in 1970. ...


Quotations from the show

  • (Said by Squadron Leader to Flight Officer Perkins): "I want you to take up a crate, Perkins " Sah!" "Fly over to Jerry." "Sah!" "And dont come back." "Sah" "You are going to lay down your life, Perkins." "Sah" "We need a futile gesture at this stage. It will raise the whole tone of the war."Good bye Sah! - Or is it 'Au Revoir'?" "No, Perkins, Good bye."
  • Peter Cook as 'E.L.Wisty' Yes, I could have been a Judge but I never had the Latin. I never had the Latin for the judgin'.
  • Cook as Macmillan recounting a summit meeting with President Kennedy We talked of many things, including Great Britain's position in the world as some kind of honest broker. I agreed with him when he said no nation could be more honest, and he agreed with me when I chaffed him and said no nation could be broker.
  • Peter Cook as Harold MacMillan (T.V.P.M.) 'One piece of correspondence shall indelibly be printed on my memory.' (Pulls out a crumpled piece of paper) 'Let me read it to you.'
  • Cook to Moore in 'One Leg Too Few' Your right leg I like. I like your right leg. That's what I said when I saw it come in Mr Spiggot. Lovely leg. Lovely, lovely leg. I've got nothing against your right leg, Mr Spiggot. The trouble is, neither have you.
  • (Alan Bennet as falsetto-voiced vicar) 'Take a Pew:' But my brother Esau is a hairy man, but I am a smooth man.

JFK redirects here. ...

Discography

CD re-directs here; see Cd for other meanings of CD. Image of a compact disc (pencil included for scale) A compact disc (or CD) is an optical disc used to store digital data, originally developed for storing digital audio. ...

Bibliography

  • Cook, P. et al. (2003) Beyond the Fringe ISBN 041377368X
  • Carpenter, Humphrey (2000) That was Satire that was ISBN 0575065885
  • Cook, W (Ed) (2004) Goodbye Again ISBN 1844134008
  • Bennett, Alan (1994) Writing Home ISBN 0571173888
  • Paskin, Barbra (1997) Dudley Moore ISBN 0330353225
  • Thompson, Harry (1997) Peter Cook ISBN 0340649690

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
P S Y C H E: Symposia (2624 words)
The purpose of this commentary is not to dispute the existence of the non-sensory fringe.
On these grounds, the fringe is not best portrayed as a two room apartment (sensory and non-sensory), but as a labyrinth, in which even the most abstract forms of experience divide and turn back on themselves.
A common reaction to this sort of account is that its appeal to a homunculus—the inner observer for whom fringe contents operate as targets of attention—threatens a regress, and covers for a lack of fundamental explanation.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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