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Rowan Atkinson's The Atkinson People (Classic BBC Radio Comedy) Audio CD – Audiobook, 16 Sep 2010

2.8 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD: 2 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Physical Audio (16 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140846716X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408467169
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 14 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 598,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Originally broadcast in 1979 this double CD consists of four 30 minute 'interviews' with Rowan Atkinson created characters, consisting of a pompous Gielgud-esque actor and an arrogant philosopher amongst others. Listening to this I could recognise early versions of characters that would appear again later in Atkinson career and there are occasional flashes of genius over the two hour listening time. That last comment also highlights the weakness of this CD - at two hours it's simply too drawn out.

Listening to this over 30 years after it was first broadcast highlights the slow and somewhat indulgent nature of these episodes - comedy has evolved to be so much faster and to the point. The episodes certainly aren't bad though, and there are some genuinely funny moments but they are stretched to breaking point over thirty minutes.

Having said that this disk is certainly worth a listen if you are a fan of Rowan Atkinson or co-writer Richard Curtis as it interesting to hear embryonic characters that pop-up in later works, just don't go expecting quick fire laughs.
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Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I am a HUGE Rowan Atkinson fan. I love Blackadder, I love Mr Bean, I love The Thin Blue Line, and of course, Not the Nine `o' Clock News. Whilst I'm at it, I'll say I loved his performance as Zazu in The Lion King, his major `Teacher' sketch in The Secret Policeman's Ball, his appearances in films like Rat Race, Love Actually, Four Weddings & A Funeral etc.

Rowan's deliverance is always impeccable. He won't settle for anything less than perfection whenever he's acting and he is such a pro. So, The Atkinson People seemed right up my street, especially given the fact that he co-writes this with Richard Curtis, a renowned writer who was responsible for the likes of Blackadder (with Ben Elton), Mr Bean (with Atkinson), Vicar of Dibley (with Paul Mayhew-Archer), Four Weddings and a Funeral, Bridget Jones' Diary, Love Actually and (most recently) the classic Doctor Who episode "Vincent and the Doctor".

Alas, The Atkinson People is something of a letdown. It was a short-lived radio series that only lasted four episodes, featuring Rowan Atkinson (in his first broadcasted role) playing four different fictional celebrities who are being profiled. These consist of Sir Benjamin Fletcher (a master orator), George Dupont (French philosopher), Sir Corin Basin (distinguished actor and rambling bore) and Barry Good (a pop artiste).

The idea is very good, the production values are usual BBC quality (great music and sound effects) and Rowan Atkinson being who he is, performs the characters with typical distinction and liveliness. But the writing is dismal. The episodes just ramble on, and moments when the material becomes funny are few and far-between.
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Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Rowan Atkinson is an extremely talented man; not only does he display talent in straight drama and television comedy but he is also a superb vocal artist. Does this versatility come from an O.U.D.S background? I suspect so. The comedy of the '60s on increasingly comes from those with a University education as opposed to those who learned their craft in front of (sometimes hostile) audiences as in radio's glory years of the 1950s.
But vocal dexterity will avail a comic actor naught unless provided with good material; the scripts of these four programmes (first broadcast in 1979) were written by Rowan Atkinson himself with Richard Curtis and show strong insight into the structure of human nature and also of those intense documentary programmes prevalent on BBC2 and on the Radio 3 in those days.
These are wicked parodies of the paradoxical; the Member of Parliament talented at saying precisely nothing at great length, the Pop Artist famous essentially for being famous and dressing dross with obscure philosophy, the philosopher worshipped for being so profound he is incomprehesible as well as uncomprehending, and the actor whose biography is watched by those who feel vaguely that they should have heard of him although nobody of note actually has.
We have here the early Atkinson, crude yet still well formed.

Buy this disc to see not only what the fuss is about but how and why it came to be.

Ummmmmmmmmmmmmm.......
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Format: Audio CD Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have never thought the scope of Rowan Atkinson's comedy talents has really been appreciated. He is certainly a success and a shrewd one at that, having a fortune estimated at around £65m thanks to his share in the production company Tiger Aspect. However, he is not one of life's driven comics or comedy actors, more a strange anomaly that falls into a rich diversity of work. Like Frankie Howard and the great American comedian, Bob Newhart, Atkinson is afflicted with a stutter that he works beautifully into his dialogue. Listen to his pronouncements of the name "Bob" in "Blackadder II" and "Blackadder Goes Fourth" for examples of this wonderfully unique comic verbalization. Atkinson was apparently bullied at school for this along with his somewhat odd appearance. This is perhaps the reason why many interviewers have found him to be painfully shy and very difficult to pin down. We live in a time now where Atkinson has played the lead role in two of the UK's biggest comedy institutions and exports, "Blackadder" and "Mr Bean". He also played a spoof secret agent, Johnny English, in a series of Barclaycard commercials that evolved into a rather disappointing motion picture. My favourite memories of his work are most definitely contained in the "Blackadder" series. This CD boasts work that was the forerunner to this exceptional comedy.

However, if you are expecting to hear a prototype of Edmund Blackadder then the CD's blurb on the back is somewhat misleading. "The Atkinson People" was a four-part radio series written by Rowan Atkinson and Richard Curtis, produced by the comedian Griff Rhys Jones. The series is more of an exploration of typically British satirizing of their own pomposity, pretentiousness and the intelligentsia.
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