It’s pronounced ‘Bouquet’

One of the funniest and memorable comedy characters to come out of the nineteen nineties has to be that of Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced “Bouquet”). Encamped in her middle-class bungalow planning her candlelight suppers of the local religious and political hoi polloi Hyacinth smashes her way through life and sweeps all before her whilst desperately hiding a dark secret.

Well not that dark but to her it is, her relations are common, and she comes from a poor working-class background. She is incredibly house proud and unsure all her nice china is out on display. Oh, how Hyacinth would have loved to have luxury chandeliers in her house. A bit like the ones you can find at the candle light would have glinted of them fantastically.

Written by Roy Clarke, who was also responsible for Open all hours and Last of the Summer wine, Keeping Up appearances is another gentle and inoffensive comedy that is able to be incredible funny without offending anyone. This is because it is heavily character led and the actors employed in their roles are faultless. Patricia Routledge as Hyacinth appears to have study method she is so convincing as the pompous and absurd Mr Bucket played by Clive Thomas.

Every part of her oozes self-importance and entitlement. She has battled her way out of the slum she was born in and, to be fair to her she has shown incredible tenacity to and determination to get where she is. Admittedly this was marrying well to the kindly and long-suffering Richard Bucket.

Her sister Rose, who brings nothing nut shame to Hyacinth is renowned to be skill in the carnal arts, one wonders if it runs in the family and this enticed Richard. We never find out but its fun to play with the characters and because they are strong in how they are presented to us we can.

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As the title suggests,keeping up appearances is what Hyacinth lives for even though it is totally obvious to all around her that she is projecting, well, not a lie as such but certainly an image that is false. Hyacinth is not rich, and she is not cultured and is ignorant of her son Sheridan’sartistic lifestyle via his constant requests for money and is, ashes been suggested, gay. She may have left the poor world behind, but her sisters Daisy and Rose remind her of her past and write it large upon her life.

To be far to her she has not abandoned them, they are not cut out of her life and she appears to love “Daddy” her Alzheimer’s effected and always absconding Father. She is ready to support Daisy who cares for him, ‘we’ll never put Daddy in a home’, as Daisy receives minimal help from her husband Onslow. 

The other thing is we all know a “Hyacinth” either in or outside of our family and that is the characters overriding strength, she is real.
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