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Stage revue show written by and (originally) starring two Cambridge grads, Peter Cook and Jonathan Miller and two Oxford grads, Dudley Moore and Alan Bennett. Debuted at the Edinburgh Festival in the Summer of 1960 and later enjoyed long runs in the West End and Broadway. Considered the Pet Sounds to the Monty Python's Sgt. Pepper and the emergence of the modern British Comedy movement of the 1960s.


Beyond The Fringe provides examples of:

  • After the End: In "Civil War", a heckler (Moore) asks when public transport services will resume following a nuclear holocaust. (As soon as possible, but it will be a skeleton service.)
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: "The Weill Song".
  • The British Invasion: made its US debut a good two years before The Beatles jumped the pond. Also made its US debut in Washington, DC with President Kennedy and his wife Jackie attending.
  • Camp Gay: three of them in "Bollard".
  • Cut Song: Quite a few sketches were tried out and dropped in the pre-West End test runs. Some of them were taped and can be found on the Cambridge Arts Centre CD.
  • The End Is Nigh: the closing sketch features a doomsday cult waiting for the end of the world. It doesn't come.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: They got the parody of Prime Minister Harold Mac Millan past the censor by simply not naming him in the script. Once Peter Cook put on the voice, everybody got it.
  • Literal Minded / Mathematician's Answer: The policeman in "The Great Train Robbery".
  • Musical Pastiche: Dudley Moore's solos.
  • Non Indicative Title: the sketch "The Heat Death of the Universe" is actually a whimsical monologue about trousers and nothing whatsoever to do with entropy.
  • Overly Long Gag: the coda of Dudley Moore's piano solo "And The Same To You" is a classic example. Peter Cook's "Sitting on the Bench" monologue sometimes got into this too: "Oh look, a lump of coal!".
  • Pastiche: of war movies, Shakespeare, and religious TV shows.
  • Rule of Three: "Put the kettle on, love..."
  • Satire: it was credited with starting a "satire boom".
  • Sketch Comedy
  • Sorry, Billy, But You Just Don't Have Legs: "One Leg Too Few"
  • Spoonerism: "They were rough, toothless... er, tough, ruthless..."
  • Stiff Upper Lip: "Aftermyth of War"
  • The Vicar: a traditional one portrayed by Alan Bennett and a modernising one played by Jonathan Miller.
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