Saturday, March 29, 2008

Tony Hancock ,, alas another flawed genius.

Last night I watched the TV drama "Hancock & Joan" on BBC4.

"This was not some tragic romantic fiction, but the painfully real story of Tony Hancock and his affair with Joan, the wife of his best friend John Le Mesurier. It was retold, without a whiff of sentimentality or melodrama, in Hancock and Joan, a poignant new play by Rick Cottan.
Ken Stott plays Hancock, Maxine Peake is Joan and Alex Jennings the long-suffering John."

It saddened me greatly ,.,. I was close to tears as the story unfolded ,,,
the end was almost too much to take ,, again !
Of course I knew this story well from the time when it all happened,
but here were the little details that I hadn't fully appreciated then.

I was a fan of The Man, the little man from 23, Railway Cuttings, East Cheam,
comic genius extraordinaire.

Joan Le Mesurier, wife and great love of John was simply captivated and captured by the tortured little genius ,,( well weren't we all ? )

John was also Tony's best friend ,,, which only made matters more difficult for the comic ,,
he loved John almost as much as Joan so was tortured even more !

His problem with the dreaded drink got worse I'm sure, because he had destroyed his friend.

Ken Stott was obviously a great fan too .,,. he played Tony magnificently ,.,.
every body movement, every facial expression, was pure Hancock.

Maxine Peake was just wonderful as Joan ,,,
(I believe Joan agrees for she is the only one still with us today.)
Alex Jennings too had studied his character with love ,, he WAS John Le Mesurier.
All three should get a Bafta for their performances ,.,. when I think of Maxine as the dumb slut in the fabulous Dinner Ladies ( and wasn't she quite superb there too ) ,,
well ,, is there any end to this girl's talent ?
But the final acolade must go to Ken Stott for the performance of a lifetime.
I'm sure Tony himself would have agreed ,,, and probably bought him a drink !
So long again HHH.

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