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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Dinner for One starring Freddie Frinton and May Warden. A comedy classic.

This seventeen minute comedy classic is presented by North German Television and is all in English with a short introduction in German. It was filmed in Hamburg and Frinton died five years after the filming. The chap introducing the piece explains that ninety year old Miss Sophie is celebrating her birthday and there are four imaginary guests at the table (the real characters have all passed away). They are; Admiral Von Schneider, Sir Toby, Mr Pomeroy and lastly Mr Winterbottom. All are impersonated/brought to life by veteran comedian Freddie Frinton who plays the butler James. The tiger rug also plays a principal part in the slapstick humour.

This piece started life as a music hall entertainment and nowadays no Sylvester Abend is complete without a viewing of this classic. Even on Lufthansa flights that span over the New Year they show the sketch on the flight screens so that no-one misses it.

As the action progresses and more dishes with accompanying drinks are brought to the table Miss Sophie and the butler James get more and more sloshed with hilarious results. It is so popular in Germany that even little children know the lines in English off by heart. Enjoy.

Dinner for One... or five?

Every New Year's Eve across Germany and other mainland European countries families sit down to enjoy a seventeen minute British comedy filmed in Hamburg. It stars Freddie Frinton as a butler called James and he is serving a meal and drinks to his ninety year old boss Miss Sophie and four imaginary guests. It is in black and white and the funniest seventeen minutes of pure comedy slapstick that you are ever likely to see. At each course he and Miss Sophie get progressively more drunk. And yet this masterpiece of comic timing is very little known in the UK despite its star being a British legend of Music Hall entertainment in his day. Rather than over burden this particular blogpost I will do a separate blogpost after this one.

I mention this having watched it the other night with some German guests to the Lace Market Theatre. They all know the script and actions off by heart and my friends Markus, Carsten and Hannah had cooked myself and their host Alison a terrific meal of Saltimbocca  alla Romana, preceded by a fresh lightly dressed salad and followed with home made Apfel Streudel and English custard. There are tempting but slightly blurred pictures at the end of this blogpost. I blame the copious white wine!

Previously in the week myself and members of the Jakobus Theatre in Karlsruhe had dined at various eateries in Nottingham including Annie's Burger Shack on Broadway (Nottingham) and Jamie's Italian in the centre of Nottingham. Both places offered very good food and excellent service at reasonable prices. I especially liked the Mussel Linguini at Jamie's Italian.

Dishes from Jamie's Italian in Nottingham.

Another time we went to Nottingham's best ever deli - the renowned Delilah for hot drinks and to soak up the ambiance. There wasn't really room or the facility for us all to sit around a single table so we arranged ourselves around the coffee bar area.

And finally to the meal prepared by our friends from Karlsruhe. This was at my friend Alison's house and while they cooked I got on with writing a script half in English and half in German (with help from Carsten and Markus for the authentic German)  as part of the official presentations we do at the farewell party on Friday night. The cooking smells coming from her kitchen as they made the Apfel Streudel and the Saltimbocca alla Romana were heavenly. The delicious veal was purchased at Waitrose and everything else at Tesco. The link for the Saltimbocca alla Romana is to Jamie's Italian Magazine and it offers a simple recipe to follow and enjoy.

uncooked apfel streudel

Unforgettable times with lovely people. I can't wait to visit them in Karlsruhe in December this year. More food based delights from this visit will follow shortly.