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Hercules Grytpype Thynne

  • Saturday 25th July 2020, 6:12am
  • England
  • 17,181 posts

Did anyone else do this postal course in the 1990s put together by Vince Powell and George Evans? It was 10 weeks where they set you homework on all aspects of comedy, which they would then appraise each week, and with that were examples of scripts from their past glories and what seems to be failures!

Sad coincidence I've just noticed is that Vince was unable to attend George's funeral in April 2009, as he was clearly very ill and died just three months later in July.

Here is some of the material and homework they set :-

Newspaper ad that caught my attention back in '92
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The thick plastic A4 folder with examples, course work and somewhere to keep yer efforts
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The "bible"
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Vince and George
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Welcoming letter
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Notes
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Lesson One
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Lesson One Exercise
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Harry Worth script from the TV series "Thirty minutes Worth" of 1972
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Harry Worth "Thirty minutes Worth" first page of script
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Mike and Bernie Winters
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"Passing Strangers" script - no trace of this rejected (?) script
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john tregorran

  • Saturday 25th July 2020, 7:30am [Edited]
  • mornington,victoria, Australia
  • 1,358 posts

Very interesting.They had an impressive and popular body of work but most of it not to my taste I must admit. I thought Vince wrote with Harry Driver?

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Aaron

  • Saturday 25th July 2020, 9:35am
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,670 posts

Harry was quadriplegic from polio, and died at the height of their success in 1973, aged 42.

This looks fascinating, Herc. Thank you for posting! Will read it through properly later. Do you have any more?

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Kenneth

  • Saturday 25th July 2020, 2:39pm
  • Australia
  • 5,384 posts

Yes, this is fascinating stuff. I wonder if anyone who took the course went on to achieve success as a comedy writer? I have always been a bit leery of professional writing courses beyond the realm of journalism, legal writing and academic writing.

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Aaron

  • Saturday 25th July 2020, 3:19pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,670 posts

Are those scripts, Herc, or photocopies?

I can't find any mention of Passing Strangers anywhere. Looks like a lost gem! Very possible it was written solely as an example piece for the course, as Vince doesn't mention it in his autobiography.

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john tregorran

  • Saturday 25th July 2020, 8:12pm [Edited]
  • mornington,victoria, Australia
  • 1,358 posts
Quote: Aaron @ 25th July 2020, 9:35 AM

Harry was quadriplegic from polio, and died at the height of their success in 1973, aged 42.

This looks fascinating, Herc. Thank you for posting! Will read it through properly later. Do you have any more?

Sorry to hear about Harry but he was at the top of his profession .Hopefully that gave him some consolation.

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Hercules Grytpype Thynne

  • Sunday 26th July 2020, 6:08am [Edited]
  • England
  • 17,181 posts
Quote: Aaron @ 25th July 2020, 9:35 AM

Harry was quadriplegic from polio, and died at the height of their success in 1973, aged 42.

This looks fascinating, Herc. Thank you for posting! Will read it through properly later. Do you have any more?

Quote: Aaron @ 25th July 2020, 3:19 PM

Are those scripts, Herc, or photocopies?

I can't find any mention of Passing Strangers anywhere. Looks like a lost gem! Very possible it was written solely as an example piece for the course, as Vince doesn't mention it in his autobiography.

When I get a chance, I'll go through the folder again. I don't think the "Passing Strangers" was written for the course as I would have thought that would be too much work and a waste on their part - no, I think it was a rejected script, as like you I can find no reference to it anywhere.

I most certainly would have thought they were photocopies of their original scripts as I can't imagine they would have sent one to little old me - I hope for their part they had more than one person on that course! Again I'm sure they are complete scripts from one episode. Like I say, I'll check it out later when I have more time.

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Lazzard

  • Monday 27th July 2020, 11:11am
  • Ludlow, England
  • 4,711 posts

I see they dug out the old "They'll be ready Tuesday" gag for Harry Worth - hope they didn't charge full price for that!

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Hercules Grytpype Thynne

  • Monday 27th July 2020, 11:25am
  • England
  • 17,181 posts

Yes, and with old chestnuts of that type, I often wonder who first wrote them.

I know Aaron's interested, so when I get time I hope to scan and post the entire HW script, along with the rejected (?) "Passing Strangers".

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Aaron

  • Monday 27th July 2020, 1:01pm
  • Royal Berkshire, England
  • 68,670 posts

Excellent! I'll look forward to reading. :-)

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Hercules Grytpype Thynne

  • Sunday 2nd August 2020, 3:51pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 17,181 posts

As there has been some interest, I'll be posting the course as and when and in the order I originally put it up. It takes a bit of time to scan and get the forum codes, so please bear with me.

Handbook "bible" first :-

Blue Booklet - as I was primarily interested in radio comedy, and being short of the dosh, I took the 5 week course and felt I could probably learn enough to tackle TV if I wanted to. As it turned out, I did actually have more success with sketch writing for some TV shows that were on at the time than I did for radio.

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Alfred J Kipper

  • Sunday 9th August 2020, 12:25am
  • Aldershot, England
  • 6,189 posts

That was an excellent lesson, how much do I owe you?