Joined: 08 Aug 2006
|Posted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 8:11 pm Post subject: B&W Videotaped Comedic Play on TV
|Good evening, folks. I'm looking for the name of a rather obscure piece of film that aired on tv (possibly Bravo in the early days) in the l980s or early l990s. I watched it many times, which is what leads me to think it may have been on Bravo. (I can get no information from Bravo because they only return my emails with form "letters."
I don't know the name of the film, or the two actors in it, or the director. But I can tell you what it looked like and more or less what it was about. What the plot actually was, I can't say because the film was so hilariously funny, plot was irrelevant!
I think it was no more than an hour long, if that long. It was in B&W and appeared to be a film (videotape, actually) of a one-act stage play. The set was quite simple: Filling the left and middle of the tv screen, a large, ponderous dining room table set for 8 or 12 people. In front of the table was a polar bear rug including the bear head. At the right of the screen was a grandly wide staircase with first landing. Clearly, this dining room and staircase were in a mansion.
The film opened with an elederly, elegant--but well beyond her prime mentally--thin, white-haired woman dressed to the nines for dinner coming down to the table from the landing. Standing near the table was her butler looking very formal and altogether English. A few words passed between the two, he seated her, some more talk, then she called for the first course to be served. The butler went through a rear door and soon returned with his platter to serve all 8 or 12 or however many it was places, and most important, pour wine into each wine glass. With extreme precision, while listening to the hostesses instructions for each non-existent guest, he served each place gracefully and efficiently.
Shortly thereafter, the elderly woman called for the first-course setting to be removed. The butler went around the table removing each place setting as well as the wine glasses. As he picked up each wine glass, which, of course, had not been drunk from because the guests existed only in the elderly woman's mind, he drank the wine.
When he returned to serve the second course--which included another round of wine, as did each subsequent course--he was a trifle tipsy, and his speech was a bit less formal than it had been.
By the time he got to the 4th or 5th or 6th--whatever it was--course, he was entirely snookered, his speech was terribly slurred, and he kept tripping over the bear rug's head, and. as I recall, corners of the table.
The premise of this play, if that's what it originally was, was so so simple, and yet so exquisitely wrought through witty dialogue, the terribly clever satire, and never-over-the-top slapstick, that even after the fifth or sixth time I watched it I was reduced to jelly.
If anyone anywhere has any idea what the name of this "play" is, or who wrote it, or who the two actors in it are--any info that would help me identify it--I would be most grateful.