Friday, June 10, 2016

"Rene and Me" by Gorden Kaye

Gorden Kaye with Hilary Bonno. Rene & Me: An Autobiography. London” Sidwich and Jacksn, 1989.

Actor Gorden Kaye has “painful awkwardness and “dreadful shyness” as an overweight youth. He joined the drama club and found acting as a “homecoming”. He used acting for the rest of his life “as a welcome escape from the harshest aspects of bleak reality/”

Kaye starred in “‘Allo “Allo, a BBC television series. There was criticism from those who felt its setting as a comedy during the Nazi occupation of France was objectionable. The show was successful. It was a success that drew a large number of British viewers at 16 million watching.

There were some mistakes during shooting A scene where a woman tried to rescue actor Arthur Bostrom, whose character who is hanging from a tree as his parachute is entangled. The female character accidentally pulls down Bostrom’s pants while trying to rescue him. During a take, she accidentally pulled down his pants and underpants. Of course, that tape was not the one chosen for airing.

There was a year gap between filming the pilot in 1982 and the series beginning.

Kaye, when delivering speeches, prefers to speech in character of Rene, who he portrays in “‘Allo ‘Allo”, Kaye is still shy and finds it easier to pretend to be Rene.

Once while in Rene mode, Kaye spoke at a dinner for Richard Branson and his Virgin Airlines, noting “why anyone wants to fly with an airline that is not prepared to go all the way I cannot understand.”

The longest audience laugh while filming was when an acrobat held a suggestion position  while being interviewed for a job as a wait server. The audience laughed for 37 seconds. The scene was reduced for TV broadcast.

Kate observed he never used his French accent while speaking English as a means to get a laugh. This was something Peter Sellers did masterfully as Inspector Clouseau.

“‘‘Allo ‘Allo” filmed most of its scenes before a live audience. Kaye notes some actors find an audience as disturbing and prefer not to shoot in front of audiences. Kaye found shooting before an audience “brings it all alive.

“‘Allo ‘Allo” was shown in France, Kaye notes that it may have been hard from some French viewers to buy a British comedy which makes French characters the butts f some jokes especially with the show was set during a time when French citizens ere being harmed and killed. Kaye appreciates that so many French viewers enjoyed the series.

Kaye belonged to a technical college drama group where he learned much about acting. He later was a past of the Bradford Amateur Theatre Group. He was in a play shown on BBC. When he joined Equity, they misspelled his first name as “Gorden”. He had a kidney stone attack and was unable to correct the error before receiving his Equity card. He accepted his new name.

Kaye performed in more plays before he was then cast on the TV show “Coronation Street”, which is seen by 500 million people. He was on that series for eight months. He was not given a contract extension. Kaye appeared in two episodes of “Are You Being Served?”. Crift then cast Kaye in a seires “Come Back Mrs. Noah”. It lsted one eason,

David Croft, who created “‘Allo ‘Allo” seriesm hired Kaye for the lead road. Croft also originaly thought the Edith character should be an opera singer. Carmen Silvera who portrayed Edith, recommended Edit e a good signerm in parr because she was petrified to sing, Croft agreed with the suggestion.

The “‘Allo ‘Allo” TV actors performed stage versions of the show. The stage show broke some audience records.