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Date: Sun, 11 Feb 90 03:17:59 EST
From: email@example.com (Chris'n'Vickie of Kansas City)
Subject: Belated News Flash! (for UK Love-Hounds)
I just talked to Peter David Fitzgerald-Morris (professor of Kate Bushology and Homeground fellow) and he told me that Kate wrote a song for an episode of The Comic Strip. [GLC]
Also very, very neat: in a few weeks Kate herself will appear in an episode of The Comic Strip called "Les Dogs." Peter described it as a "Fellini-esque film about a self-obsessed man who had a car crash, wandered into a wedding reception and falls in love with the bride. As far as we understand, Kate is actually the bride"!!!!!!
So Neil & all you other British lovehounds, be sure to tell us how it all goes.
Vickie (one of Vickie'n'Chris)
Date: Mon, 12 Feb 90 18:48:00 BST
Subject: Comic Strip
The Comic Strip called "Les Dogs."
This gets better and better. Most people will know that the connection is Peter Richardson who directed the video for This Woman's Work and who directs, writes and acts in the Comic Strip.
Date: Fri, 2 Mar 90 12:27:35 BST
Subject: Comic Strip Les Dogs Actors
Here is the Radio Times entry for next week's episode of The Comic Strip Presents ...
At the point of death in a motor accident, businessman Victor relives a ten-year affair with a beautiful bride.
Bride (Angela).......................... Kate Bush
Groom (Jeff)........................ Danny Peacock
Bride's mother................. Miranda Richardson
Bride's father........................ Alexi Sayle
Groom's mother................... Julie T. Wallace
Groom's father...................... Tim McInnerny
Best man......................... Adrian Edmondson
Victor........................... Peter Richardson
Leader on TV.......................... Keith Allen
Danny............................. Steve O'Donnell
Brother-in-law...................... Chris Malcolm
Man shot............................... Jimmy Fagg
'Les Dogs' singer..................... Kevin Allen
Waiter................................ Gary Beadle
Head waiter........................... George Kahn
Written by Peter Richardson and Pete Richens
Directed by Peter Richardson
Executive producer Michael White
From: Stephen Thomas <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 8 Mar 90 23:29:33 GMT
Subject: Les Dogs
About 45 minutes ago, as I write, the BBC aired the programme that featured Kate in her first ever acting role. As any gaffan who has been reading will know, this was called "Les Dogs", and was part of the latest Comic Strip series. As everyone on the other side of the pond is expecting a summary to be posted, I am doing just that. I shall post a description as best I can remember, and then say what I thought of her.
The programme was rather surreal, to say the least - it almost defies description. Nevertheless, I shall do my best. Certain parts of my narrative may be badly sequenced - I am sure people with better memories will put me right. I shall be missing out trivial parts anyway.
After some initial opening scenes, we find ourselves on a highway, panning over the scene of a crash, between a beat up old blue van (with LES DOGS in red letters on the side) and a Jaguar. The driver of the Jag (a chauffer (sp?)) is dead, but his boss [Peter Richardson] on the back seat is still alive and whole and is conducting a business deal. He finishes it, then tries to attract the attention of the driver and fails. He then reaches over, into the drivers jacket, and removes his wallet. He says something like "I just need some money for a taxi - the rest I shall send to your wife - I shall post it myself." He leaves the car, and we see that the highway is totally empty. He sets off into the countryside by the highway.
The man (whose name is Victor, BTW) is walking through the countryside. In order to keep his shoes clean, he has removed them (and his socks) and is carrying them while walking barefoot. Eventually he comes to a hotel. Putting his shoes and socks back on (over his muddy feet) he walks in to one of the reception suites, to find that there is a wedding reception going on. He looks around.
The two families are arranged on two separate tables, facing each other, and it is obvious that there is a huge degree of animosity going on. The best man [Adrian Edmondson] is, in a wimpish way, reading his speech (which is truly excruciating). Eventually Victor's eyes alight upon - you guessed it - Kate herself. She is the bride, and her name is Angela Watkins. She is rather beautiful in a patiently happy sort of way, dressed in a white wedding gown.
Anyway, while the best man drones on, her new husband starts caressing her and kissing her. She accepts this with all signs of happiness. His hands and face are covered with some sort of reddish-brown powder (like cinnamon), and he leaves stains on her face and dress.
The best man realises he is terminally boring and wraps up his speech with a toast, which everyone ignores. The animosity between the two families goes up several notches as we watch in silence. Finally, the bride's father [Alexei Sayle] stands up and says that the groom is a worthless lump of rubbish (using slightly stronger words) and he only let his daughter go because it was what she wanted and he loved her, but he was thinking of putting a stop to it NOW. The groom's father [Tim McKinnery (sp?)] stands up and says that the groom [I forget the name of the actor and the character] is the best catch of the county and that the bride only led him on until he was forced to marry her in order to get her to bed.
Then the bride's father pulls out a gun and shoots the groom's father in the arm. This is a signal for all the guests to push over the tables and all start shooting at each other across the tables. In the confusion, but observed by Victor, the newlyweds leave by a back door.
The scene shifts to a separate room in the hotel, where a buffet meal is being prepared for the guests. Victor enters, possibly in search of the bride. The bride's mother [Miranda Richardson] asks Victor to do the wedding photographs, as the real photographer had to leave. We then seem him outside with the camera, arranging the bride and groom for the photo - or rather just focussing on the bride and trying to move the groom out of the picture.
The scene then changes to the couple in their honeymoon suite in the hotel, where they are unwrapping gifts. Someone has given them a truly obnoxious talking doll. They both find this highly amusing.
We next see Victor wandering around the hotel, again in search of her. He sees her going through a door further along the corridor, and starts hurrying after her, but never catches up. He almost does when she goes into a lift [elevator], but it closes before he can get in it with her. He rushes up the stairs to be there to meet her, but when the lift opens, she isn't there - there is someone else he doesn't know.
A bit later, after a bit more wandering, Victor encounters a small crowd of people gathered around someone. It is the bride, who has obviously fainted, just outside the honeymoon suite. He claims to be a doctor, picks her up and carries her into the suite.
There he gently lays her on the bed and goes into the bathroom, where he takes of his shoes and socks and washes his feet (still muddy) in the bidet. Just as he is finishing, he notices through the open door of the bathroom a small child in nappies [diapers] on a tricycle wander past, looking at him curiously. The child wanders out of sight.
The next thing is that Kate comes into the bathroom, in normal housewife clothes, and starts talking to Victor as if he is her lover, whom she is planning to run away with - leave her husband and children, because she loves Victor. Victor is confused by this. [BTW, this is the first time Kate speaks - I was wondering if she was going to say anything at all!] They then start caressing each other and just as things start to get really interesting - she disappears. She was never there. It was all his imagination.
He then notices some strange noises coming from outside the bathroom. He leaves and finds that he is in the home of Angela and her husband, with her father, at a Christmas party. Victor is welcomed as a family friend without whom the party would be incomplete. She says she has something to show Victor, and leads him away, but before he follows her, the husband takes Victor aside, and says something like he really loves her, and if she left him, it would destroy him.
We then have a scene change. It is late at night and Victor is standing dressed in a Santa Claus outfit in the middle of the house's family room. Everyone else has obviously gone to bed. He seems to have just awoken, as if he had been standing asleep. He looks around and finds the obnoxious doll mentioned earlier. It encourages him that she is his for the taking.
He goes upstairs and finds her in bed with her husband, asleep. She is lying on her side. He goes over and reaches out for her, and she wakes up. Her eyes open and a very bright light shines out. He is drawn to these twin beams and is pulled down into them ...
... and we hear the crashing of metal and glass as the car he was being driven in collides with an oncoming vehicle, the van. The whole thing had been some sort of before-dying, last-moments dream.
OK, that is more or less it. You may be wondering where the title comes from. It was the name of a French glam heavy metal band who had been hired to do the music for the reception. They had refused to go on whilst the guests were shooting, until the lead singer was coerced in a rather painful fashion. Of course, they were all killed.
So what was she like? I thought she was OK, but she was definitely showing her age a bit - although this does not really matter. To my relatively untrained eye, she showed signed that this sort of acting was not entirely natural to her - or perhaps she was not used to it, would be a better way of putting it.
Although she was one of the lead characters, she was not actually called upon to do much - the other characters acted around her. Still, she looked very good, and she fitted the part of the bride perfectly.
Anyway, I am tired, so I shall sign off and let others give their opinions. Thank you for putting up with me.
Date: Fri, 9 Mar 90 13:08:23 BST
Subject: The Comic Strip Presents
Well Kate certainly chose an unusual start to her acting career. The "Les Dogs" episode of The Comic Strip Presents was shown last night and to my mind was one of their most bizarre and elliptical shows ever. One always expects the unusual when the Comic Strip are involved but this episode was more convoluted than usual. Three of the Strip's regulars (French, Saunders and Planer) were totally absent with guest artists dominating the show (see full cast list posted earlier), which added to the sense of strangeness.
The plot (sic) is hard to describe in a way that would make much sense on paper (cathode) and while Kate was featured from start to end, it was only in the last 5 minutes or so that she actually spoke.
A proclamation on TV by a Leader that cars (later TVs are mentioned) will be banned. People runs into the streets and into their cars. On a deserted road a limo has crashed with a van carrying a punk group (Les Dogs). The chauffeur of the limo is dead, a business man (Victor) in the limo walks away and ends up in a wedding reception at a hotel where two sets of motley guests listen in stoney silence to the best man's speech.
The groom (Jeff), face covered in chocolate, kisses and licks the face of his bride (Angela) [Yes it was Kate being thus defiled!] much to the chagrin of the bride's father who stands up and besmirches the groom and his family. Provoked by this the groom's father launches his own verbal tirade against the bride and her family. This is the cue for an all out gun battle to commence between the male guests on either side. The women retire to a side room and the caterers continue to serve drinks amid the ensuing mayhem. The bride's mother persuades the French punk group Les Dogs, booked to provide the music, to play by grabbing the leader's private parts and making him an offer he couldn't refuse!
Meanwhile the business man is asked to take the wedding photographs as the hired photographer has vanished. His attention grabbed by the beautiful bride, he agrees and takes photos of the bride and groom on the lawn. He tries to free the bride from the groom's embraces and clean up her face.
As the wedding guests are slaughtered one by one the bride and groom open their presents which include a series of vulgar speaking dolls which cause the bride to laugh [the same laugh that is on L&A - oops sorry]. The two set of parents sit and lament the death of their relatives and decide to blame the caterers for the fracas.
The bride is then seen in a side corridor where she suddenly faints. Victor follows her and, claiming to be a doctor, carries her into the honeymoon suite. With the bride still unconscious he cleans his muddy feet in the bidet. Suddenly he spots a young child in the doorway. He is no longer in a hotel room but in a house. A woman, Angela, rushes in and they discuss their affair [finally Kate gets to speak her first words]. They are about to kiss when Victor finds himself back in the hotel with Angela still on the bed.
The two families try and enter but Victor disuades them. [my memory goes a bit blank here ] Somehow we are back in Angela's house where the husband greets his father who has come to spend Xmas. Victor is brought into the room and referred to by everyone as Uncle Victor. The father says that this will be their best ever Xmas. Angela says something or other.
Back in the hotel room again the bride awakes and Victor bends down to kiss her. Her eyes become two beams of light - headlights of a car. There is a loud crash.
It was a bit confusing towards the end with all the switches but I think the above is roughly correct. It was only in the flash forward (or backwards depending on how you look at it) scenes at the end that Kate spoke: before that she was only required to smile and react to other people - which she did most ably. Kate came across very well on her debut and hopefully it will encourage her to do more. As the beautiful Angela she made a nice contrast to the obnoxious Jeff (Danny Peacock) and the fact that she was speechless for the majority of the film added to the sense of surrealness of the film. In the "domestic" scenes there was less attempt to make Kate appear glamourous through the use of make-up and she looked much as she does in recent newspaper photos.
I am sure there where a lot of meaningful references in the film but on the first viewing I was fascinated to see what Kate would do - and whether she would ever get to speak!
Be seeing you, Neil
From: "Nicholas J. Kings,(Nick"
Date: 9 Mar 90 22:05:19 GMT
Subject: Re: Les Dogs
Wow, fer sure dude. Having just re-watched the video, all I can say is what is going on?
The best I can guess is that Victor is fatally injured in the crash at the start. He is remembering the last significant events of his life then he, err, snuffs it.
The one big hole with that theory is that he appears not to know Angela.
There are more things, but I'll wait for the discussion to start.
From: Stephen Thomas <email@example.com>
Date: 10 Mar 90 13:09:49 GMT
Subject: Re: Les Dogs
> The one big hole with that theory is that he appears not to know Angela.
Erm, no, I don't read it like that. I saw Victor as a powerful but perhaps rather lonely man, with a distinctly melancholic disposition. The whole programme was also very melancholic, don't you think? Anyway, what he saw in Angela was his vision of perfection, the woman he had been searching for all his life, and in the final moments before his death, his imagination created her for him.
When he first saw her, she was most definitely the "property" of another. She was in a situation (the centrepiece of a wedding) specifically designed to emphasise that fact. Nonetheless, he still tried to follow her, to find out about her, to capture her.
Eventually, of course, he did - or so he thought. When she fainted in the hallway, he arrived and took charge from her. From then on, perceived reality started to break down. He almost had her in the bathroom, only for her to be snatched away at the last moment. At the very end, he did get her, and his life ended.
I look forward to the analysis.
Date: Fri Mar 9 18:05:46 GMT 1990
Subject: Kat in <Les Dogs>
'Les Dogs' ( To One in Paradise )
"All last night I couldn't sleep. I lay awake for hours, wrestling with the problems that face us today and all our tomorrows; and in the early hours of the morning, as the dawn rose above Westminster, I reached a decision - and the decision I made was ... to ban the motor car. No more noise, no more pollution, no more traffic wardens, no more waste of resources and finances. Just the swish of the bicycle tyre, and the distant sound of the toot, toot, tooting of the steam-driven public transport."
Thus begins the Comic Strip film <Les Dogs> ( the subtitle is mine - it's a clue - well, it's Poe's, actually ), Kate's acting debut, set in an alternative present Britain, in which the Green Worker's Party has imposed a military dictatorship. I'll try not to reveal too much of the plot, ( somewhat spoiled for readers of the <Radio Times> ( the BBC's programme guide ) by the ending being revealed in the programme summary - and this a week after ITV revealed the complete plot and ending of <The Hunt for Red October> in their main evening news bulletin - what are these people up to ?! ), as you'll enjoy it much more through working out for yourself what really happened in the past and the present - I expect someone else will be unsubtle enough to oblige, anyway. So, herewith, a brief and hopefully tantalising synopsis.
The film tells, in a series of flashbacks and intertwined dream sequences, of the central character Victor's passion for, and affair with, a beautiful young bride ( played by Someone We All Know ). Or perhaps I should say 'hints at', rather than 'tells', as little is as it seems, much is fantasy and might-have-beens. The first view of Kate ( Angela ) is sitting at the wedding reception, seen obliquely through her veil, as the best man ( Adrian Edmondson ) stumbles through a desperate speech at which no-one laughs, as the couple's families, from different social planes, loathe each other intensely. Victor ( Peter Richardson ) stumbles into the ensuing gun battle ( "Which side are you on - the bride's or the groom's?" "I just came in to find the toilet." ) after his car has been involved in an accident.
Roped in to take the wedding photographs, Victor becomes infatuated with the lovely woman in white seen through the viewfinder, and follows her later when he sees her drifting along a hotel corridor in her flowing gown. Losing her, he finds her again, unconscious on the floor, surrounded by relatives. Why did she faint? Who knows? They don't. He pretends to be a doctor, and carries her off into the honeymoon suite ... ( Don't worry, he only takes off one of her shoes. ) The secret affair goes on for several years, as Angela and her husband Jeff ( Danny Peacock ) now have two children, and 'uncle' Victor is now a close friend of the reconciled families. Jeff is desperately in love with Angela; it seems he may know of the affair.
Will she leave him? Jeff might kill himself without her ( "I love her, Victor. She means more to me than anything in the world." ), but she loves Victor intensely. They have by now surreptitiously arranged to run off together. Does it ever happen? ( I believe the final kiss, as the headlights glare down, proves otherwise. ) Does only the talking doll know the real answers? ( "Why, hello, Santa, you dumb gutless rat. So howdya like the future, asshole?" )
This is all really rather good, one of the Comic Strip's best, a sad, haunting, magical tale of doomed love. The perhaps trite romantic thread is woven through a manic mixture of fantasy and reality which makes for an engrossing half hour. ( Of course, if you don't like romances, it may not appeal. However, if you cried at the end of <Somewhere in Time>, you'll love it. ) How much ever happened, how much was wish fulfillment in the dream state, and how the relationship was resolved, you'll have to decide for yourself. Kate's performance is natural and relaxed; a gentle introduction into acting ( Angela doesn't actually speak until halfway through, and she spends part of the film unconscious ), and one which I hope she will follow up with more complex roles in the future.
Usually only hearing her singing, I had almost forgotten what a lovely speaking voice she has - soft and melodious - and one which conveys breathless passion effortlessly - Victor never had a chance. I hope that Kate's pleased with the film - it's just the sort of imaginative drama that we could have hoped for her to appear in, and another success for the writer/director Peter Richardson - but whenever will those outside the UK have a chance to see it?
( 'Les Dogs' are the heavy metal band hired to play at the wedding reception, by the way. What I want to know is, what is the relevance of the GWP? )
"The next thing I'm going to ban is television - no more passive and indiscriminate viewing of second-hand tat and trivia. Instead, we're going to make our own entertainment - a world of books, of fireside conversations, and the writing of very, very long letters. ... Which brings me to the telephone ... and the racing pigeons."
Another Fine Product from JimG : Hatfield, England
On to A7 - This Woman's Work Box Set
written by Love-Hounds
compiled and edited
Sept 1995 June 1996