The Orphans of Penny Farthing Lane



Les Dennis


Some of us found time to practise and some of us didn’t because you were too busy worrying about a stupid bloody dress. And now you have let down your public.

After creating a masterpiece such as The Office, by the end of its run, Extras really did seem like the beginning of the end, in my opinion. I enjoyed it at the time, but had a creeping sense that Ricky Gervais was really just starting to play himself (which certainly can’t be said of David Brent). I don’t think Andy Millman is fully there, but After Life? Personally not a great fan of it. I’ll be diplomatic and leave it at that. I’ve not seen Derek but I think it’s safe to say that the lack of Merchant with a lot of these is a contributing factor.

On to this, then. Maggie meets an old friend Lizzie, with whom she worked for on one of her father’s old play productions when they were kids. That play being ‘The Orphans of Penny Farthing Lane’. Strangely, there’s a real life book almost called this, published in 2021. You’d do a search on it, wouldn’t you?! Speaking of Lizzie’s father, he steals the show. Blatantly gay to everyone in the universe except for seemingly his own family, Bunny is a theatrical luvvie and borderline psychopath who kicks Maggie out of Lizzie’s 29th birthday party for giving her ideas abover her station.

As a footnote, the thing I *do* like about Extras is the efforts put in by the celebrities. Les Dennis clearly not taking himself too seriously, being as he’s pitched as a bit of a pathetic loser in this one. Excellent stuff.

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