Review: Backstage Pass (pilot) Inside Fanny

“You’ve got to feed your fanny”

Ain’t Twitter grand. All sorts of randomness appears on Twitter, peccadilloes exposed, truths revealed and a whole lot of guff expounded about any range of subjects. But sometimes little gems appear (and not just the lettuces) as it was with this YouTube clip that was pointed out to me. It’s a spoof South Bank-style documentary, following the fortunes of an actress ‘up-and-coming’ as described by only her, and her disastrous experiences in the company of a newly opened show.

It was actually put together by the cast of When Did You Last See My Mother which played at the Trafalgar Studios 2 last year, assumably for a bit of a laugh and though it is perhaps a little overlong, I’d say it is worth the watch. It feels quite Victoria Wood-like (I think it most reminds me of a backstage episode of Acorn Antiques) and is often quite amusing in the way it contrasts the accounts of her God-given talent and the forced smiles of her co-stars as they are grudgingly interviewed, and the realities of just how shit she is as revealed by hilarious ‘candid’ encounters with the same colleagues as she continually screws up and is exposed for the chancer she is.

The main attraction – and reason for it being pointed my way – was the presence of Mr Sam Swainsbury (though I generally disapprove of the haircut here), and there is a fabulous moment of ARMS towards the end (17:05) but they all do well. Antonia Finlay as the flakey Fanny is brilliantly deluded, Laurence Dobiesz is funny throughout as the obsessed hairdresser and chief enabler and Abigail Cruttenden cameos well as a disbelieving co-star. My only disappointment was that Harry Melling remained behind the camera as the narrator/presenter though his vocal work is wryly amusing from start to finish.


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