Oh golly-gosh! We’re in the wrong cen­tury

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM REVIEWS - DON­ALD CLARKE

SWAL­LOW SAND AMA­ZONS Di­rected by Philippa Lowthorpe. Star­ring Rafe Spall, An­drew Scott, Kelly Mac­don­ald, Dane Hughes, Orla Hill, Teddy Malle­son-Allen, Bobby McCul­loch, Seren Hawkes. PG cert, gen re­lease, 96 min

Tatty, Batty, Lat­tie and Philippa piled a mound of sand­wiches into the good boat Farage and set sail for the BBC.

“This is go­ing to be smash­ing,” Philippa said. “Aun­tie’s house may be packed with Bol­shies and Muham­madans, but even she can’t re­sist fork­ing out for Arthur Ran­some’s top-notch tale of posh kids pa­tro­n­is­ing the oiks while hol­i­day­ing in the Lake Dis­trict. It will look scrump­tious. We’ll get some yummy mu­sic by Ilan Eshk­eri. Who cares if many of the kids can’t act for tof­fee?”

While she had been talk­ing, a sus­pi­ciously swarthy fel­low in a poorly tended skiff had pulled up to their star­board side.

“Who are you?” Tatty (who used to be called Titty) said in a voice su­pe­rior enough to strip the paint from lower-or­der walls.

“I’m from the 21st cen­tury,” the strange man said. “Look, Ran­some was an in­ter­est­ing guy and a good writer. But no­body still ca­pa­ble of walk­ing up­right will be in­ter­ested in these creaky ad­ven­tures. Right? What’s all this ‘walk the plank’ stuff? You may as well make a film of the 1930 Wis­den’s Cricket Al­manac.”

Philippa couldn’t un­der­stand a word the man said. Im­pos­si­ble as this seemed, his ac­cent gave no clue to his class what­so­ever. Still, his dis­ap­proval was clear. She nar­rowed her eyes and spoke in the voice she used on Buster that time he chewed up her Latin primer.

“It will be wiz­ard. We’ve re­placed the bur­glars with spies. And to keep the BBC Com­mies happy, we’ve put in a bit that sug­gests we shouldn’t re­ally be in­vad­ing other chaps’ coun­tries. ‘Post-colo­nial’ you call it.”

The man smiled a ter­ri­fy­ingly class­less smile. “Not sure how well that will go down af­ter Brexit,” he said.

Philippa pushed him into the wa­ter and sailed off bor­ingly to­wards a fu­ture bank-hol­i­day screen­ing on BBC2.

Tally ho! The Swal­lows ship out in Swal­lows and Ama­zons

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