Friday, February 7, 2014

"THE AMAZING MRS SHUFFLEWICK: The Life of Rex Jameson" by Patrick Newley

The book as literature is not that hot, but the subject matter is interesting as well as the world around Mrs. Shufflewick.   This is a biography of Rex Jameson, a British comedian whose only major role is a drunken old cockney women by the name of Mrs. Shufflewick.   The author Patrick Newley was Jameson's manager in his late life.  What I like about the book is that you get information regarding London music hall life.  More likely if it wasn't for "The Amazing Mrs. Shufflewick" we would probably not know a thing about this fascinating artist.

Jameson wrote his own material, and actually not that different from his character.  Consistently drunk, a show with him was either a great hit or a terrible miss.  Nevertheless he kept a very private life, that is a combination of a kitchen sink drama with music hall overtures.   On the fringes of culture, Mrs. Shufflewick comments on the sexual mores of a cockney drunk.  Reading his work on paper, it comes off beautifully, and even though with the power of the Internet we have very little information on Jameson and his character Mrs. Shufflewick.

The bad thing about the book is that it is very much like a long magazine article.  Which is not bad, but this is a subject matter that needs a more detailed history of the drag artist as well as life working in various pubs and theaters of London circa. 50's and 60's.

Down below is a rare footage of Mrs. Shufflewick

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