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Saturday, August 9, 2014

50 Words For Kate: #18 - Comic

Kate Bush is a big fan of British comedy, so it is perhaps not surprising that in the early 1990s she became involved with one of the leading groups in the new wave of alternative comedians: The Comic Strip. Kate had asked one of their founding members, Peter Richardson, to direct her video for The Sensual World, realising it would be hard to do it herself when she was in virtually every shot. Kate and Peter hit it off and he asked if she would write the music for an episode of their new series of The Comic Strip Presents...

The episode was called GLC: The Carnage Continues... and was a fictional retelling of the real-life political battle between Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Ken Livingstone, the leader of the Greater London Council (GLC), known in the press as "Red Ken". The Comic Strip reimagined this battle of wills as a Hollywood movie, so the comedians played movie stars playing the real-life politicians. For example, Jennifer Saunders played Brigitte Nielsen playing Thatcher, while Robbie Coltrane played Charles Bronson playing Ken.

Kate created a number of incidental music pieces for the episode, as well as a theme song for the hero of the piece, which she titled Ken. It's fair to say it was a departure from her usual style...

Peter also asked Kate if she fancied an acting role in another episode. She said "yes". Kate appeared in the episode Les Dogs, playing a bride who was having an affair with Peter's character.

It is a highly surreal story, with Peter's character recalling the affair as he clings to life after being involved in a car accident. Here are Kate's best bits.

Kate's final contribution to The Comic Strip was another song. She provided the closing theme for a Christmas special called Wild Turkey, where a turkey that's about to become Christmas dinner takes a family hostage. Being a festive episode, Kate wrote a brief, but heartwarming ditty: Home For Christmas.

I'm sure Kate got a kick out of her work with The Comic Strip. She was able to flex her creative muscles in a different way and leave her small mark on the history of British comedy.

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