6.5/10
141
7 user 3 critic

Alfresco 

Not Rated | | Comedy | TV Series (1983–1984)
This is an awesome comedy variety show with spoofs on 80's pop culture! Young amazing British Actors Stephen Fry, Robbie Coltrane, Emma Thompson and Hugh Laurie! Just brilliant!
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Episodes

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2   1  
1984   1983  

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Robbie Coltrane ...  Various Characters / ... 13 episodes, 1983-1984
Ben Elton Ben Elton ...  Various Characters / ... 13 episodes, 1983-1984
Stephen Fry ...  Various Characters / ... 13 episodes, 1983-1984
Hugh Laurie ...  Various Characters / ... 13 episodes, 1983-1984
Siobhan Redmond ...  Various Characters / ... 13 episodes, 1983-1984
Emma Thompson ...  Various Characters / ... 13 episodes, 1983-1984
Edit

Storyline

This is an awesome comedy variety show with spoofs on 80's pop culture! Young amazing British Actors Stephen Fry, Robbie Coltrane, Emma Thompson and Hugh Laurie! Just brilliant!

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 May 1983 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Альфреско See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Granada Television See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(13 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Follows There's Nothing to Worry About! (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Out on DVD at last!
1 February 2009 | by tonyukSee all my reviews

This excellent programme is being released on DVD in the UK today 2nd February 2009. The two-disc package contains both series of 'Al Fresco' and the three-part pilot series 'Nothing To Worry About', which was only shown in the Granada region.

The shows are well worth watching - they contained many funny ideas and were generally innovative for their time. As others have mentioned, the acting was also top notch and foreshadowed the talent inherent in the cast.

I was Floor Manager/1st AD on the pilot series and the first series of Al Fresco. The location scenes of the pilot were shot on 16mm film but a decision was made to shoot the entire first series on location, using what was then revolutionary lightweight location video equipment. It was also this decision which prompted the name of the series.

At the time, most comedy shows were studio-based, shot multi-camera on video, with location inserts shot on film. Attempting to shoot the entire series on location and on video was challenging, to say the least! Up until then, to shoot location drama on video necessitated taking out an entire outside broadcast unit and an army of crew and vehicles. It was very rarely done, with film being the preferred format.

With the new lightweight mobile video unit that Granada invested in we could go on the road as a much smaller unit and shoot scenes like a traditional film crew. That was the theory anyway! There were many logistical difficulties and technical breakdowns but we got it done.

However, the first series turned out to be very expensive, not least because of the post production. Video editing at the time was expensive, slow and labour intensive and we were shooting a lot of the scenes film-style using a single camera. This necessitated a lot of editing.

Granada requested a second series but with a reduced budget. The new producer decided to shoot it like a traditional studio-based sketch show, hence the birth of the 'pretend pub' concept to link it all together.

I have many fond memories of working on Al Fresco. I was very young at the time (most of us were!) but even then I knew that this coalescence of talent, coupled with a new way of doing things, was something remarkable and special.

I hope a new audience and a new generation will enjoy Al Fresco and that those who were in their teens and twenties in the mid 80s will enjoy rediscovering this lost treasure.


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