52 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Awkward beasts, winkles,
This review is from: Sir Henry At Rawlinson End (Audio CD)
Born out of short interludes in Bonzo Dog albums and Peel Show contributions in the late Seventies, this recording contains, quite possibly, the most entertaining 50 minutes you are ever likely to enjoy. The scene is set in the faded grandeur of dust-shrouded aristocratic manor Rawlinson End where the terrifying Sir Henry and a cast of larger than life grotesques, of League of Gentlemen proportions, go about their daily excursions under Stanshall's relentless microscope.
His use of language is extraordinary, and he can move from the bawdily asinine (the downtrodden manservant is called Scrotum: the wrinkled retainer) to space-cadet surreal in the course of a single sentence.
The piece is crammed to the gills with throwaway one-liners... for example when some of the characters are playing cards, one remarks to Sir Henry "why, if filthy fingers were trumps, what a marvellous hand you'd have."
All is narrated with his plummy, rounded, and hugely expressive voice morphing wonderfully into each perfectly realised character. The scenes are intersperced with musical interludes, which the idiosyncratic but canny Stanshall made timelessly gauche (echoes of the Bonzo's here).
Viv Stanshall's exquisitely sharp, savage and witty descriptions paint some of the most vivid and side splittingly laugh-out-loud funny scenes this writer has ever heard. The rich density of the descriptions and narrative will bring the listener back time and again to find nuances and meanings that elude first listens. Without doubt, the album is an undeniable work of genius from the finest hour of this sadly missed English eccentric ... Indispensible.