Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Top Marx, Bath!

A still from the Marx brothers film One Night in Casablanca
Groucho tries his luck…
Bath is getting a whole weekend devoted to the Marx brothers. As the website for the Marx Brothers Weekend Festival of Britain states, "Bath, with its rich absence of any known connections to the Marx brothers, seemed the perfect place to mount the festival, and 2016 was specially chosen on the grounds that it wasn't the centenary of anything at all."


I'm not sure how many people read this blog and are interested in old comedy, but I grew up on it, thanks to Papa Robot's love of The Goon Show and Round the Horne. He never played any Marx brothers, though, and I was never really bothered about hearing it, but Radio 4 Extra's remakes of Flywheel, Shyster and Flywheel, the brothers' lost radio show, has made me think I've missed out on something there. The festival looks like being a good way to change that.

The Little Theatre, Bath's artier cinema, is going to be showing a couple of Marx brothers movies, Animal Crackers and A Night in Casablanca. Both are billed to include mystery bonus features and archive rarities, so lovers of vintage comedy should be in heaven for those showings. Chapel Arts is having 'An Evening With Groucho', starring Frank Ferrante, which looks very good indeed.

My guide to 'What's on in Vintage Wiltshire' (tab at the top of the page) includes stuff just over the borders of neighbouring counties, and I've put all the dates and links on there.

10 comments :

  1. I have a feeling you'll like the Marx Brothers. Animal Crackers is great fun, with snappy dialogue delivered at warp speed.

    Having a festival for no particular reason seems like something Groucho would have approved of.

    Sort of related-there was a popular tee shirt when I was a student that read, "Sure, I'm a Marxist" and had a picture of the Marx Brothers and Karl Marx. If I ever spot one floating around the thrifts, I'll buy it for you.

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    1. I do like them on the radio, that's for sure.

      We have a lot of festivals in Bath. Literature and Music (classical and some jazz) are the big two; the music one always opens with a free party in Victoria Park, with live music and a massive fireworks display.

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  2. Very cool! Old comedies - both in film and radio program form - have always delighted me as as well.

    ♥ Jessica

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    1. I've never been as into comedy as horror or noir - but that's perhaps why I should give this a try.

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  3. Gosh I haven't seen these films since I was a child, watching with my Dad! I wonder how I'd find them now? X

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    1. It's always risky revisiting things, but worth doing. Recently Pete and I bought an 80s comedy series, Sledge Hammer, on DVD. We thought it'd be utterly dreadful, but now we can actually appreciate all the Dirty Harry/ Miami Vice parodies going on it's even funnier.

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  4. People reading this blog are QUITE interested in old comedy.
    Mim,
    My dear friend: anything that's making me laugh can not be avoided. Humor is an essential part of my life, and I seek for it in everything.
    I'm glad Bath is organizing something like that.
    Over here, we sometimes have book presentations, or an occasion mono-drama.. that is pretty much all (Serbian etno dancing "kolo" aside, I honestly don't follow that scene)
    ...
    I hope you have a great time.

    M.

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    1. I guess that's the good thing about living near a large and relatively posh city; we have lots of festivals and events going on. I do sometimes think I should try to go to more.

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  5. I love vintage comedy (Harold Lloyd, Will Hay, Ealing, Goons, Laurel & Hardy, etc) but never really got into the Marx Brothers or Chaplin come to think of it. Groucho Marx does have some fabulously acerbic quotes so I am sure that the films would be a lot of fun. Good for Bath for putting them on. We need more things like that to go to. Xx

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    1. Yeah, we're lucky to have so much going on in this city. Of course, it is fairly posh/wealthy, with a lot of tourism, so there's the funding for it. Smaller or less wealthy cities have so much less cash to work with, and so many more things needing funding.

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