The Best of Victoria Wood [DVD]

£5.98 £2.93
(as of 11/05/2017 02:30 - info)

Another BBC raid into their archives, The Best of Victoria Wood is taken solely from her early television series, a period that established her as a major name in British mainstream comedy. Al

Another BBC raid into their archives, The Best of Victoria Wood is taken solely from her early television series, a period that established her as a major name in British mainstream comedy. Although rooted firmly in a cosy, almost bygone age of English culture (her work is full of Northern references), Wood’s reputation as one of the UK’s sharpest writers is well deserved. She is particularly adept at creating a range of characters that not only provide great humour but also a fair amount of depth and empathy as well.

Assembling an excellent cast of players (the majority of whom she continues to work with to this day), the sketches here are a mixture of group pieces (the fantastic soap opera pastiche Acorn Antiques), musical numbers, a succession of wonderful head-to-heads with long-time sparring partner Julie Walters and, uniquely, the odd monologue (Patricia Routledge’s Keeping Up Appearances character makes an embryonic debut in the shape of Kitty). Television watchers of a certain age may find the clips a little over familiar but this should take nothing away from a fine compilation.

On the DVD : The Best of Victoria Wood is another example of the BBC falling flat with their approach to the possibilities of DVD. The picture and sound quality seems to have improved little since the show’s original broadcast and there are no extras beyond the standard interactive menus. Given the amount of fine work that Wood has produced over the years, we could have hoped for at least the beginning of an insight into her methods, inspirations and influences. —Phil Udell

DVD