Last night BBC2 screened the much-anticipated biopic ‘Shirley’. I was really looking forward to watching it as it looked great from the trailers I’d seen but I have to admit when it had finished I was very disappointed and started to think of anything positive I could say about it.
I will say that I did like the four main actors. Ruth Negga was extremely good in what must have been a very difficult part to play. She didn’t convince me that she was Shirley but to be honest I didn’t expect her to. I have an instant dislike for anyone trying to be ‘Shirley’ that’s why I dislike these tributes acts so much! Sorry I digress …. she did however have some of the hand movements but at times I didn’t understand what she said. The Welsh accent was just too much. As for Lesley Sharp and the two main male actors I really liked but then I had no-one to compare them with as I’ve never seen any clips of their characters in real life.
My main complaint is that it just did not flow at all. It jumped from one scene to the next without any explanation of certain events that happened. It went through time at breakneck speed that I found myself trying to catch my breath! One minute she was at home with her mother and the next she was on the stairs crying that she couldn’t become a star as she had a baby. Where did the baby come from? There had been no mention previously. To my mind the whole programme just jerked along.
I was pleased the issue of race was not made a big thing. Only twice did it come into the play. Once with the leaflet in Australia and secondly regarding the film ‘Oliver’. Shirley has never made thing regarding her colour and it would have been wrong to give it prominence in this.
I wish there had been more singing (by the real Shirley) and unfortunately they cut the songs short which they did play. Before I knew it the credits were rolling and I was left feeling very frustrated. I know about Shirley. I’ve followed her for many years but I couldn’t help feeling that if I didn’t I really wouldn’t be much wiser.
Later I watched the ‘slice’ from the Electric Proms and then ‘Imagine’. Although I’ve seen them before I have to be honest and say they left me feeling much happier.
In 1992 Dame Shirley Bassey did a charity concert for the Ronald McDonald Foundation at the Kurhaus in Scheveningen (The Netherlands). Here you can listen to that superb concert that was broadcast on Dutch radio only.
1. Medley of Goldfinger/Diamonds are forever;
2. New York medley;
4. Kiss me honey, honey kiss me;
5. Without you;
6. Almost like being in love;
7. Never, never, never;
8. For once in my life;
9. Big spender;
10. Hey Jude;
11. This is my life;
Shirley Bassey, who is also a grandmother, payed a visit to the home for sick children in Utrecht. Second from the left is Pascal Rijnders, head of the Ronald McDonald Children’s Fund.
In the bar area of the restaurant is a photo gallery with world famous stars who performed at the Kurhaus in the past.
They include Edith Piaf, Jacques Brell, Count Basie, Neil Sedaka, Yves Montand and many more.
And of course there was a beautiful photograph of Dame Shirley Bassey placed high on the wall between other photographs. (Special thanks to Rien)
And since this IS the Video Showcase we have a video as well:
Here you can see Dame Shirley Bassey rehearsing at the Kurhaus in 1993 for the concert she did with Liza Minelli and Ray Charles. CLICK HERE or CLICK HERE
The Bassey Blog are delighted to announce the forthcoming release Shirley Bassey – BBC Archive Voices and we are holding a free prize draw for fans to win one of 6 downloads worth £5.49 each!
This new series is a fascinating collection of archive radio interviews from programmes such as Woman’s Hour, Parkinson, Desert Island Discs, Front Row, Today, Start the Week, Kaleidoscope, Late Night Line-Up and others in which key figures from the world of entertainment, sport, politics and literature talk about their careers and private lives.
The Bassey download contains interviews from 1963 to 2009. Other titles available from 1st October include Bette Davis, Brian Clough, Margaret Thatcher, Noel Coward, Paul McCartney and Roald Dahl.
Cover: Shirley Bassey Interviews 1963 to 2009
Leave a comment below to enter the free draw. Closing date 30th Sep 2011 and comments left after this date (GMT) will not be counted.
The Bassey Blog welcomes all new releases of archive material and like every other fan out there hopes that other areas of the BBC will follow suit and release the long overdue 70s BBC TV Series on DVD!
With special thanks to AudioGo for producing this release. For those not lucky enough to win a copy, it can be downloaded here.