Young Hyacinth (2016)

  • Year: 2016
  • Released: 02 Sep 2016
  • Country: United Kingdom
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  • Available in: 720p, 1080p,
  • Language: English
  • MPA Rating: TV-G
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Runtime: 28 min
  • Writer: Roy Clarke
  • Director: Sandy Johnson
  • Cast: Kerry Howard, Debra Stephenson, Tony Gardner
  • Keywords: prequel, family relationships, maid, intoxication, aspiration, employer employee relationship,

Young Hyacinth Storyline

In the late 1950s Hyacinth is working as a maid to Dulcie and Claude Cooper-Smith, trying to pass off Daddy’s alcoholism as the effects of his war wound – not that it fools her sisters, long-suffering lock-keeper Daisy, promiscuous Rose and Violet, who knows how to play a rich man. When Dulcie learns of her husband’s infidelity and takes a lover herself Hyacinth walks in on her but displays total discretion, stating that she wants a gentleman as a spouse. Boyfriend William could fit the bill but Daddy predictably scuppers the relationship.—don @ minifie-1

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Young Hyacinth Movie Reviews

Damp squib

This comedy one off is part of the BBC’s continuing sitcom season in 2016. Written by Roy Clarke it is a prequel to Keeping up Appearances.

Kerry Howard plays young Hyacinth the maid with aspirations to be a social climber in 1950s Britain who would be later portrayed by Patricia Routledge as Hyacinth Bucket, pronounced Bouquet.

Howard has the mannerisms of Routledge as well as the voice but with an abysmal script there was no characterisation. We see her living in a house by the canal with her more common sisters and their dad, a war veteran who is fond of the booze.

This episode was a laughter free zone, not helped by murky camera- work, lack of canned laughter, hammy acting and an unfunny script.

Writer Roy Clarke has previous form with prequels. He did First of the Summer Wine which had some charm despite the dodgy continuity with the main show, at least it complemented Last of the Summer Wine. Young Hyacinth does not.

Mildly Amusing Prequel to the “Bucket Woman’s” Later Life

Where did the celebrated character Hyacinth Bucket come from? Set in a never-never land of the Fifties and early Sixties, Roy Clarke offered an imaginative speculation.

She grew up in a modest lakeside cottage, surrounded by her three sisters Violet (Tamla Karl), Daisy (Katharine Pearce), and Rose (Katie Redford). All three of them displayed the social foibles that would blight their later lives: Violet was a social climber, Daisy fond of wearing gents’ overalls; and Rose promiscuous. All three of them were feckless, leaving Hyacinth (Kerry Howard) with the onerous duties of holding down a full-time job, keeping house, and looking after Daddy (Mark Addy). We had to admire Hyancinth’s indomitable spirit – despite the numerous handicaps blighting her life, she took great pleasure in her work as a housemaid to the bourgeois Cooper-Smith family, even though their social graces were infinitely inferior to her own.

Sandy Johnson’s production suggested that Hyancinth was a throwback to an earlier time when ‘U’ and ‘Non-U’ gradations of behavior really mattered, especially among the upwardly mobile social climbers. The fact that her family were only interested in material things was irrelevant; the fact that she could look forward to a future life of wedded bourgeois bliss with a respectable spouse (though not her present beau William (James Wrighton)) was sufficient for her.

Kerry Howard was particularly convincing in the lead role; she caught the character’s flat northern vowels interspersed with the desperate desire to retain her Received Pronunciation training. She had one especially funny sequence in the Cooper-Smith’s household, as she tried to do the vacuuming while under the influence of liqueur. At that point Spencer’s body assumed something of the magnificent elasticity of Patricia Routledge’s in the original series.

A gentle episode, to be sure, providing evidence of Clarke’s essential generosity towards his characters, despite their excesses. But nonetheless THE YOUNG HYACINTH has potential, should the BBC wish to develop it into series form.

The origins of the Bucket woman.

The first point to notice watching this is that a lot of time, money and effort has gone into this one, thankfully written by Roy Clarke, so it was at least penned by someone who knows the characters inside out.

You can’t help but watch Keeping up Appearances and wonder how on earth the four girls are sisters, four utterly different people, I love how this show went some way towards explaining the origins of the characters.

Kerry Howard was a definite triumph as Hyacinth, she had the facial expressions down to a t. She truly did add a lot of humour to the role, how different she was in this to him and her.

I can see this as Sunday teatime comedy, there to fill the slot vacated by Last of the Summer Wine. Lighthearted, easy comedy that seemed to belong to a bygone era, but how many of us crave the comedy of that time? 7/10