Friday 26 February 2021

Alfie Bass and Bernard Bresslaw

Two of the most famous Jewish actors
when I was a boy
were Alfie Bass and Bernard Bresslaw.
Every time they came on TV
my father would talk about them
as if he knew them.
He would nod, and say
'Yiddlech' (little Jewish bloke)
and say how he saw either or both of them
at the Unity Theatre
in 1938.
But then he would tut
as if they had done something terrible.
He was bothered that the two most famous
Jewish actors
in the 1950s
played parts where they were complete
Again and again and again.
I was 10
I thought they were funny.
I think I liked to see people who
did sillier things than I did.
I wasn't as much of a nebbish
as they were.
My father was cross about it.
'They're good actors,' he said,
'very good actors,
I saw that Alfie Bass, at the Unity
in 1938.'
'Yes,' Mum said,
'you've said. No need to keep
going on about it.'