Friday, 29 October 2010

Food Glorious Food

What does that title remind you of? Of course, we knew that. The Lionel Bart song 'Food Glorious Food' opens the 1960 movie, directed by Carol Reed, from the stage musical 'Oliver!' This week it has two points of contact for me - three if you include the happy fact that I have eaten food each day so far.

First, on Tuesday after the singing rehearsal a bunch of us watched a DVD of the movie, which seems all the better for turning fifty years old. And yes, we older-than-Fagin's-boys performers are practising some of the numbers (not the Food song) with verve but minus the acrobatics. A sad note is that Jack Wild (Artful Dodger) recently died, too young although past middle age, and it's hard not to think of the young cast as caught in a youthful time loop forever. Ron Moody's Fagin was never bettered. Oliver Reed as villain Bill Sikes was as uber-evil as they get. He was, I believe, the highest (over-)paid actor in England at the time. My favourite remains Bullseye the dog, and we all wondered how Oliver (Mark Lester) acquired a posh accent in the orphanage.

Our friend Angie will have a shot at Shani Wallis's stand-out solo 'As Long As He Needs Me'. If such a lyric were written today for London's West End, no doubt the modern critics would tut-tut and point to its theme (domestic abuse) saying it is inappropriate for performance, i.e. politically incorrect, or maybe Sir David Frost would put in a word, in echo of his vicious rubbishing sneers personally at Lionel Bart when the show was released. He, Frost, showed his true colours: but it is possible that he has grown up in the past fifty years.

That must be it! There's hope for us all.

Second, the food theme. By tonight I will have just about got in shape the recipe book which will be published via in the next few weeks, the result of kind contributions of "Kimberly's friends", some of whom turn out to be none other than the same songsters alluded to above. I am looking forward to sampling everything, starting with Maureen's egg nog and working my way back to the soup, via Elsie's brandy snaps, Gwenda's Irish cream whiskey, cake with brandy, and, in passing, smelling the aroma of Angie's chicken in red wine.

Do we see a pattern emerge here? I might be a chicken vegetarian but nobody said anything about red wine abstinence.

No comments:

Post a Comment