England Loses Another Queen

From today’s London Telegraph—

PATRICK FYFFE, who has died aged 60, was half of the cross-dressing act Hinge and Bracket, which enchanted audiences with its affectionate, slightly catty dialogues and renditions of such musical favourites as Noel Coward’s Play to Me, Gipsy, Ivor Novello’s We’ll Gather Lilacs, and Keep the Home Fires Burning.

Sipping sherry in a chintzy sitting room, Fyffe’s “Dame Hilda Bracket” and George Logan’s “Dr Evadne Hinge” looked back on more than 30 years’ musical collaboration in concert and light opera. The two “dear ladies” relished the opportunity to reminisce and cut each other down to size while periodically rising to sing, play the piano and even dance. The soprano Dame Hilda used to give a hilarious rendition of Gangway, employing the appropriate steps as if she were Jessie Matthews herself.

—I’ve never heard of Hinge and Bracket, but they sound delightful! Have any of our British Dopers ever caught their act?

You got me!
Your title had exactly the effect I suspect it was meant to!

Yes, Sidle, one of the Stately Homos of England has fallen to the wrecker’s ball . . .

They were quite big in the 80’s and always on the TV.

I’ve never seen their actual show but the spots they did on TV were quite funny. My grandmother loved them and would organize her nights viewing around them (and snooker) if they were on a prog. Very old school stuff.

Somebody who wasn’t 12 when they were at their height should be around shortly to fill in the chasms I’ve left :slight_smile:

Picture of them http://www.qdosentertainment.com/Artiste%20Directory/Hinge%20and%20Bracket.htm

Bad girl, Eve! Bad! No bone for you! :smiley:

I thought that maybe something bad had happened to Brian May.

As per Yojimbo really. Regular teevee performers in the 80’s with (IIRC) their own show (can’t recall how many seasons but at least two or three), rather fell out of vogue with the mainstream thereafter, but have always been loved by a dedicated gay following.

Sort of music hall/smoky Cabaret performers: Sharp whit, stylish in a camp sub-Noel Coward way, always sprinkled their act with a number of piano based renditions. Loved bickering like an old crusty couple.

A Hinge without a Bracket…sad.

Sadly, Eve, as soon as I saw your thread title I knew exactly who your meant. I’m 30, so their heyday was really before my time, but I remember seeing them on TV in my childhood. While both ( I believe) were out gay men, their act was not at all a gay one ( in so far as two transvestites on British TV could have been anything else). In the obituary for The Times it was reported that Fyffe’s father’s reaction was something along the lines of “I’d rather you weren’t doing this, but if you’re going to be a transvestite then at least do it properly”. Consequently the pair could mimic perfectly English ladies of a certain age. Even as a 7-year-old, I remember viewing their act as pleasant but wholly undemanding; I do not recall seeing them on Uk TV in the last 15 years at least, except as audience members on “An Audience With…” type programs. If I see any tribute shows I’ll try and tape them and can ship them over if you’re that interested.

I’m not from the UK, but Jabba said it about right. They didn’t ever seem outrageous or camp, they were always these sweet sharp-witted old ladies, drinking at the piano and generally acting tipsy and cheerful. Dry wit that went way over my head, but nevertheless uniquely entertaining.

My first thought upon seeing the thread title was “Dammit, if England’s going to just keeping losing their old Queens, they shouldn’t get any new ones.”