Thursday, November 10, 2005

Mr Ross Kemp Is No Ena Sharples, But His Big Potato-Head Might Have Been Designed In Prototype By Mr Leonardo DaVinci

As a rule, I am not in the habit of watching the BBC's continuing drama, EastEnders. As a younger man I invested too heavily in dramas which disappeared, leaving me in a state of permanent mourning for the stern dignity of Dr Cameron (from Dr Finlay's Casebook), the pier-end puggishness of Coronation Street's Ena Sharples (played by the indomitable Miss Violet Carson), or the rakish fortitude of Mr Peter Gilmore's Cap'n Onedin in The Onedin Line. Sometimes, in my darker moments, I find myself identifying with Champion, The Wonder Horse, who had the distinction of being the first horse to visit the top of the Empire State Building in New York. (Of course, Roy Rogers' mount, Trigger, once rented a suite at the Caledonian Hotel in Edinburgh).
But the hullabaloo about the nocturnal activities of Mr Ross Kemp made me curious. The reporting of the assault on Mr Kemp by his significant other, the "flame-haired" Ms Rebekah Wade, editrix of the Sun, was founded on the notion that there was some hilarity in Mr Kemp, a "soap hardman", being thumped by a lady. I can only conclude that the reporters who penned such piffle were not raised in Presbyterian households, where it is a mother's duty to wallop her offspring in the manner of a Japanese monk drummer , while Father sits quietly in his favourite chair fantasising about dominoes.
Be that as it may, I was astounded by EastEnders. As a thespian of several decades experience, I have never witnessed a performance like that perpetrated by Mr Kemp. I was reminded of a story told about Lord Olivier, who once terrified his supporting cast in rehearsals by playing a repressed homosexual as a mincing pantomime dame. All were horrified, as the purpose of the play was the character's reserve. Eventually, someone summoned the courage to raise a query with the great man. "My dear boy," he replied, "I like to start big, and then bring it in!"
Mr Kemp, I think, has started big and let it out. His invisible moustache twirls so quickly that he is in danger of becoming a helicopter.

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