(Richard Green, New Musical Express, August 23rd 1969)

Transcript by Anne Marie

There’s a world of difference between the Bee Gees and Dave Dee, yet the films both are making have one big thing in common: fantasy. While the group’s movie is strictly in that vein, Dave’s has certain imaginary sequences featuring that ace comedian Marty Feldman. In the past two weeks, I have been with photographer Stuart Richman to both sets and discovered quite a few interesting facts.

Like, in addition to the Bee Gees and Lulu, Sammy Davis Jnr, Vincent Price and Eleanor Bron have actually shown keen interest in appearing in “Cucumber Castle”, Dave Dee has had no difficulty with the first screen part; a Simon and Garfunkel hit is featured in the Gee’s film: Dave wants to go into rep for a while.

Dave plays the part of Ern, described as “The oversexed leader of a motor cycle gang”. In one sequence Marty imagines himself in that part while Dave talks over the action.

“It’s difficult to say whether I’ve gained much experience from a part like this because you’re playing a young yob – which with some people is not difficult” said the forthright Dave.

“Basically you’re the age of the part you’re playing and you’re aware of the way the person behaves. In rep one week a murderer and the next a JP or something which you never are in real life.

“I think I’d like to go and do a few months in rep somewhere. I feel that above all things, this will iron out a few of the pits that there are going to be with me through not being an actor.”

So from British Lion’s “Every Home Should Have One” to the BBC Tv musical “Cucumber Castle” which is being filmed in the splendour of manager Robert Stigwood’s Stanmore mansion.

Barry looking much taller and slimmer than I imagined him, approached bearing a cup of tea and told me “the film is a colour fantasy that will run for an hour or maybe a bit longer, say an hour and a quarter. We have a budget of £40,000.

“It began as a fairy tale a year ago when I began writing it, but now it’s become a classic. It’s about the King of Cucumber and the King of Jelly whose countries are always fighting each other, but there’s not allowed to be any bloodshed.

“This is my way of saying wipe out war. The governments should do the fighting, not the people.”

Maurice and Barry have written most of the music for the film, a notable exception being Paul Simon’s “Mrs Robinson” Lulu sings the number and was shooting it on the day I visited the set.

What struck me most was her marvellous facial expressions. She really gets better every time I see her and I think a number of people will be pleasantly surprised.

Dave’s film should be ready for release in January or February and the Bee Gees’ late this year. Two events worth waiting for.

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