• Short Summary

    Great round-up of popular variety acts: Afrique, Billy Mayerl and Douglas Byng. c. 1933?

  • Description

    Reel 2. Pickles chats to a taxi driver. He likes Afrique. He sings a song at the piano wearing a big white suit and hat, Cossack style. He "blacks up" and does an impression of Paul Robeson singing "Mighty Like a Rose".

    Pickles is in a restaurant and chats to the waitress. Billy Mayerl plays a novel new organ which can mimic other instruments. A small shot of Mayerl is superimposed over a shot of the mechanics of the organ. "The Cornet, the Fiddle and the Big Bass Drum" is mentioned. C/U of Mayerl flicking a switch to change the instrument. Four women play alongside Mayerl on Challen pianos. C/U of women playing.

    A man joins Pickles at his table in the restaurant. Pickles asks him who his favourite comedian is. He says: "You want me to say Wilfred Pickles ... I like something more subtle". He likes Douglas Byng. We see a routine by the comedian on the theme of a Christmas pantomime. Shots of the audience at tables, drinking smoking and chatting. Byng comes on in drag as the "leading lady". He wears a wig and carries a small basket. He sings a song called "Daisy Chain" and curtsies. The band plays, he comes on again dressed as an elderly woman - a pantomime dame. He makes a joke about having played "third raspberry in the fruit scene" and another about how the Baron must have his "Plum Duff". Camp at the time I presume, not just in retrospect. He gets the audience to join in with a song about making a pudding - he waves a rolling pin.

    See other reels.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    Media URN:
    British Pathé
    Issue Date:
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Black & White
    Time in/Out:
    01:41:54:00 / 01:50:44:00

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