John Shuttleworth and Martin Parr's film 'It's nice Up North' will be premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in August - here is the trailer (website edit) - can't wait!

1 comment:

Nick said...

John Shuttleworth review in yesterday's Graun:

John Shuttleworth

Bloomsbury Theatre, London

Brian Logan
Tuesday May 17, 2005
The Guardian

John Shuttleworth is getting old. This tour finds him "wearing the subdued shades of late autumn" - or, in the show's title, Fawn Again. It's over 15 years since Graham Fellows introduced south Yorkshire's unsung hero of song, and the relentless underachievement is taking its toll. Shuttleworth's memory is going ("I retrace my steps, then forget why I've retraced them"). "I'm in my final chapter," he sings. "This is no cause for laughter/ It's the end."

Shuttleworth's territory has always been the banality of life. It's a nifty trick to joke about boredom without being boring. Witness him distracted while window shopping, "staring at a one-bar electric fire, seeing if the concave reflector is true". There are times, though, when the comedy of weariness shades into weariness itself. Shuttleworth keeps forgetting lyrics and his "older person" fatalism gives the comedy a down beat.
For the most part, though, old age inspires our hero to more sublime flights of song, plonked into life in ghastly muzak on his home organ. The highlight is I Can't Go Back to Savoury Again, with its refrain: "That shepherd's pie was stunning/ But I'm half way through my pudding." One song, about the rudeness of southerners, segues into a painful home video, It's Nice Up North, in which he entertains nonplussed old folk in the Shetlands.

In the show's most bracing interlude, Fellows' more recent creation, Dave Tordoff, appears. A concreter from Goole and aspiring after-dinner speaker, Tordoff regales us with tales of the nouveau riche life - buying his wife a boob job, sending daughter Courtney to an "8K-a-year" school. There's an engaging innocence underlying his crassness, and an energy that nicely offsets the faltering Shuttleworth. The yin and yang of Yorkshire amateur entertainment are a winning double bill.

· At the Neptune, Liverpool, tomorrow. Box office: 0151-709 7844. Then touring.