Item Information
Product type Comedy/Drama
Estimated Shipping 3 - 5 Days
Item Description
Big Jim and The Figaro
Club Big Jim" started life as a one-off television play. Set in the
1950's (the early days of the welfare state in Britain) the
working-class narrator has been to university. Home on vacation he
looks out his old mates from the gang of council builders he worked
with. 'Big Jim' is the foreman, Harold Perkins is their snooping,
petty-minded manager. It turns out Perkins has started an affair
with Big Jim's wife and the narrator gets caught up in two revenge
plots. It is a tradition in the work gang that when one member
"calls on Figaro", "every bugger calls on Figaro" - a sort of
all-for-one-and-one-for-all (and not to be done lightly). Even
after 25 years or so the narrator is still so committed to the
club's code of silence that he says he can never tell us who Figaro
is (or was). In this case, Big Jim doesn't call on Figaro but the
other builders do, and organise the neighbourhood to 'rough music'
the adulterous couple (an old-fashioned working class shaming
ritual consisting of banging pots and pans outside the house where
the couple are making love, in effect saying 'We know what you're
doing'). Big Jim meanwhile is secretly building something in his
garage. Before leaving for university the narrator showed Jim how
to use the local library and he has combined his new research and
work skills (Jim is a carpenter) to build a replica Roman army
ballista (a huge catapult). Jim and the narrator use the ballista
to pelt Perkins's house with bags of flour and less savoury
material. The film ends with Perkins, having had to escape from
Jim's place, returning to find his own house covered in grunge. The
play had a good story, strong characters, and a great sense of
period. A series of half-hour programmes followed in which the gang
got into some scrape, called on Figaro, and delivered their own
rough justice to snobs and social climbers. For example, in one
episode houses were being linked to the main sewer system. All very
well, but it puts the man who empties the old septic tank out of
work. So, on the day the mayor and his friends come to inspect the
work, not a toilet in the street is flushed until they are inside
the sewer, and then... Maybe the cost of recreating the 1950's was
too much for a half-hour comedy. Maybe the show was broadcast at
the wrong time to get good viewing figures, late at night on a
minority channel. For whatever reason, only six were made.
Nevertheless, it was well worth watching and as you can tell from
my description, the plots were memorable.
Comes on Clear disc in Plastic Wallet , never been released
commercially !!!!!!