In the second of the new Up . . . series, Frankie Howerd plays Lurkalot, a humble serf born of nobility who sells chastity belts in the local market and tries to protect his master Sir Coward de Custard. He goes off to the crusades and has fun with Scheherazade and his various ladies and gentlemen in this send-up of historical fact.
A glance at the credits – produced by Ned Sherrin, script by Sid Colin, Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, score by Carl Davis – raises one’s hopes for this medieval incarnation of Frankie Howerd’s TV hit Up Pompeii!.
But, sadly, expectations are soon dashed as it becomes clear that Lurkalot is a pale imitation of his ancient ancestor Lurcio, and that there are few comic highlights to brighten these “dark ages”.
As dependent as he was on handcrafted material, Howerd looks very ordinary beside the infinitely more versatile supporting cast of top character comics.
Lurkalot/King Richard Lionheart
Sir Coward de Custard
Sir Braggart de Bombast
Nick the Pick
Landlord of the Blue Boar
Reporter (Our Man in the Holy Land)
Mistress of the Bed Chamber
Archbishop of All England
Winifred (Winnie The Pooh)
Long John Baldry
Sir Grumbell de Grant