Cribb: Season 1, Episode 3

Abracadaver (27 Apr. 1980)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
7.6
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 7 users  
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A sadistic practical joker is deliberately ruining acts at London music-halls, with stunts ranging from the mildly humiliating to the positively dangerous. Cribb receives a note to say that... See full summary »

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(novel), (adaptation)
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Title: Abracadaver (27 Apr 1980)

Abracadaver (27 Apr 1980) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Alan Dobie ...
Wendy Holloway ...
Lola Pinkus
Valerie Holloway ...
Bella Pinkus
Derek Tansley ...
Buckmaster
William Simons ...
Billy Wild ...
Knife Thrower
Chubby Oates ...
Chairman
Julia Chambers ...
Ellen Blake
Ian Collier ...
Albert
Peggy Ann Clifford ...
Albert's Mother (as Peggyann Clifford)
Anthony Pedley ...
Major Chick
Robert Kingswell ...
PC Salt
Jeffrey Longmore ...
PC Battree
Jerold Wells ...
Manservant
...
Mrs. Body
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Storyline

A sadistic practical joker is deliberately ruining acts at London music-halls, with stunts ranging from the mildly humiliating to the positively dangerous. Cribb receives a note to say that an accident is about to happen and turns up at the theatre just before a murder. His investigations lead to activities which certain people are keen to keep secret, involving after hours performances for the great and the good of a decidedly sexual nature. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Details

Release Date:

27 April 1980 (UK)  »

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Soundtracks

The Boy I Love Is Up in the Gallery
(1885) (uncredited)
Written by George Ware
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User Reviews

 
The Music Hall Scene
2 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

ABRACADAVER was a novel by Peter Lovesey about Sergeant Cribb and Constable Thackeray that deals with a homicide in a popular London Music Hall. My memories of this particular episode (which you may notice I have saved for the end) are somewhat limited. The idea of the plot is that the music hall artistes of the day (the Dan Lenos and Vesta Tillys and Charles Coborns) were popular figures with the public, but were not socially secure. It was only one hundred years or so of theatrical life in England (and Europe, for that matter) that separated the idea of the average performer as a vagabond from that of a performer as a special type of professional.

In this story, the key to the plot is that the rich and powerful frequently can have the theaters to themselves on special occasions, where the material used by the performers was of a far more salacious and sexually suggestive nature than what they were usually performing before the regular audiences. Those audiences were only allowed to see material that passed the censorship of the Lord Chamberlain's office. But the aristocracy and the upper crust were a law in themselves, and they were not controlled by the Lord Chamberlain's office.

The most memorable part of the plot was watching the acts of the music hall performers (like one young woman singing, "My Boyfriend Is Up In THE BALCONY"). But while well made, it is not one of the best of the episodes.


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