Are You Being Served? not "P.C." enough?
Tea Time Tidbit for the week of February 5, 2018
Cast of Are You Being Served?
After not been seen on British televisions for over thirty years, Are You Being Served? was recently back making headlines in the British tabloids.
For a number of years, much to the delight of double-entendre fans, theatre companies throughout the U.K. have been producing staged versions of Are You Being Served? and until recently, The Hull Playgoers Society thought they would be doing the same. This 118 year old amateur dramatic society located in the north of England, has for almost 40 years staged its productions at Hull’s Truck Theatre, but following their gleeful announcement that their next production would be a a stage version of Are You Being Served?, they were told by Truck that it was "not suitable". Moreover they were informed that the show was "outdated and demeaning to women".
Apparently, Are You Being Served? , which first aired on the BBC in 1972, with its risqué jokes and innuendo is not "P.C." enough for audiences of today. At least in Hull. In an interview following the announcement, the widow of Trevor Bannister, who played Mr. Lucas and who died in 2011, spoke for her husband when she said, "Trevor would have though the was political correctness gone mad".
Back in 1976, the very first stage version of Are You Being Served? ran for several months at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool. It starred five of the television series, John Inman, Nicholas Smith, Mollie Sugden, Wendy Richard and Frank Thornton. The roles of Lucas, Grainger and Mash were performed by other actors, owing to budgetary constraints. The show was highly successful and spawned a film version of the show, wherein the staff of Grace Bros journeyed to Spain while their department was being remodeled. Most of the original cast members appeared in the film version and they were joined by Andrew Sachs, who played Manuel in another British hit television series, Fawlty Towers.
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