Vulpes Libris

A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.

Classic DVD review: Brass

BrassIn the spirit of Matthew Fairchild

The quality of mercy is not strained

And neither’s Brass, though after all these years.

It helps if you’ve seen When the Boat Comes In,

But it’s not a requirement, never fear.

In Utterley, where workers wring their caps,

There’s nearly always trouble at t’mill;

‘Twas topical in nineteen-eighty-three,

And I must say it’s bloody funny still.

Up at the big house, Bradley Hardacre

(The self-made man, the profiteer, the rogue)

Dunks Mother’s Pride in claret, slurps his soup,

And veers into nostalgic monologue.

The lady of the manor drowns in gin;

The sons and daughters, all equally vile,

Play out their various period fantasies

At Daddy’s generous expense. Meanwhile,

Down at the cottage hospital (which was

The cottage workhouse at a former stage),

A young sub-Finlay doctor fails to heal

The victims of a cruel industrial age.

If you like North and South, or Middlemarch,

Then you’re a damn sight more cultured than me.

I’ll stick with Brass, and marvel once again

As Timothy West chews the scenery.

Written by Julian Roach and John Stevenson. Starring Timothy West, Caroline Blakiston, James Saxon, Gail Harrison, Emily Morgan, Robert Reynolds, Geoffrey Hinsliff, Barbara Ewing, Shaun Scott and Gary Cady. First broadcast 1983-1984, 1990. Available on DVD from Network.











5 comments on “Classic DVD review: Brass

  1. Hilary
    June 13, 2014

    *Cheers to the echo* Brilliant, and a worthy subject!

  2. Would like to see Brass. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Kate
    June 13, 2014

    iambic pentameters in interlaced quatrains, forsooth!

  4. Melrose
    June 13, 2014

    Is this the Matthew Fairchild who said “My life is going to be earnest, joyless, sexless and humourless. I reckon I’m definitely ready for the Young Socialists.” You’ve caught his poetic style perfectly!

  5. Pingback: Updates Updates Updates | Kirsty Jane McCluskey

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This entry was posted on June 13, 2014 by in Entries by Kirsty, Film and Television, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , .



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  • (The header image is from Aesop's Fables, illustrated by Francis Barlow (1666), and appears courtesy of the Digital and Multimedia Center at the Michigan State University Libraries.)
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