Sunday, March 15, 2009

Dr Evadne Hinge & Dame Hilda Bracket

One of the curiousities of the English is the esteemed role that drag, or female impersonators, has had in mainstream entertainment. Danny LaRue was a huge favourite of my parents'. Paul O'Grady in the guise of Lily Savage was a more frequent guest on Michael Parkinson's chat show than almost everyone else. All part of a tradition that owes it's popularity to Music Hall, all male 'gang shows' and the English love of saucy (but never crass) ribaldry and double entendre, I guess.

My all time favourites though were those elegant Victorian ladies Dr Evadne Hinge and Dame Hilda Bracket, as played by George Logan and Patrick Fyffe. Many people probably haven't heard of them, but they were big stars in their day. They had their own tv show "Dear Ladies" (now on DVD!) that ran for a number of seasons in the 80s, were regulars on popular variety shows such as "Good Old Days", performed a number of times on Royal Command Performances, and even had a star turn in a British production of "Die Fledermaus".

Not to mention their own Gala Evening With Hinge & Bracket show:





A clip from Season 1 of "Dear Ladies":



The older of the 2, Fyffe sadly passed away from cancer in 2002 at the age of 60 and as one friend of theirs' once commented, as they got older Logan and Fyffe began to resemble their characters more and more. Good naturedly snipping at each other and constantly trying to upstage one another. Just as it should be! Now I really need to find those DVDs...

7 comments:

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

oh! they are right on the edge of my memory. my parents never watched them much but they look so familiar. reminds me of dear Kenny with his Verity Treacle and that only-half-funny serial he did in later series. gah, what was it called? oh! Diddley of the Legion. he had a dame in that... Dimity Diddley?

and of course, Gladys and Edna (or was it Edith). good times :-)

M-H said...

I love H&B. I haven't seen them for years. They used to be regularly on TV when I was in NZ as guests on some show - can't remember what it was. I also loved Flanders and Swann - not drag but very funny also. Thanks for the memories.

The Other Andrew said...

OMG, I LOVED Hinge & Bracket. I'm glad I'm not the only one to remember them. M-H, speaking of NZ I'm thinking it's time to write about the Topp Twins again, I loved the Topp Twins!

Ur-spo said...

I would love to read a psychological paper on the topic of Brits and drag. It seems drag is quite a British tradition.
My favorite is Douglas Byne.

pinkcanoe said...

I discovered Hinge and Bracket back in the 1980s. Someone played a recording of theirs and I was completely won over. Not long after that they came to Toronto for a performance at Roy Thomson Hall that was recorded by CBC Radio. I attended the performance where they brought the house down ... more than once. I recorded the broadcast of the concert and I'm sure I still have the tape ... somewhere ...

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