November 30, 2023

TFR New Year Party 2012

bringing cultures together 

by Ralph Kratzer 

On New Year’s Eve we had a lovely party in Horst Gutowski´s house in Lapta.

Our Treasurer invited British neighbours/friends as well as Germans like our Chairman Heinz, myself and others.  The group of eleven was an Having a happy timeillustrious companionship and we had a lot of fun together.

The undisputed advantage of living in a multi-cultural community as we do in North Cyprus is not only that the Germans (and the rest of the world) are, as always, required to improve their English skills, but that we can also exchange our cultural features with each other.

One special German cultural feature is that on New Year´s Eve the majority of the German nation has been watching the same  sketch on TV year by year for decades!

The sketch is called “Dinner for One”, I have watched it since my childhood and I don´t remember that there has been one year that I have missed it!

What is “Dinner for One”?  Wikipedia says:

“Dinner for One”, also known as The 90th Birthday, or by its corresponding German alternative title, Der 90 Geburtstag, is a two-player comedy sketch written by BriDinner for one 2 smltish author Lauri Wylie for the theatre in the 1920s. German television station Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) recorded a performance of the piece in 1963, in its original English language, with a short introduction in German. This comedy sketch went on to become the most frequently repeated TV programme ever (according to the Guinness Book of Records, 1988-1995 editions ; later editions no longer have the category).

The 18 minute single take black-and-white 1963 TV recording featuring British comedians Freddie Frinton and May Warden has become an integral component of the New Year’s Eve schedule of several German television stations. Versions of the sketch are also shown by Danish and Swedish channels, a December 23rd slot on Norwegian national television, and a cult television classic in Finland, Estonia, Faroe Islands and Austria.  On New Year’s Eve 2003, the skeDinner for one smltch was broadcast 19 times (on various channels). As of 2005, the sketch had been repeated more than 230 times.  It is famous in other countries as well — including German-speaking Switzerland and South Africa. It is likewise broadcast at New Year in Australia on SBS.

In 2003 the Danish TV producer Paul Anthony Sørensen produced and directed an international documentary about the sketch. In the documentary we meet the relatives of Freddie Frinton (who played the manservant James) and May Warden (Miss Sophie) and get to know the story behind the sketch. The documentary was nominated for the Rose d’Or 2004.“

The interesting thing about this well-known sketch is that 99% of the British people I have met haven´t ever seen it, although it´s a British production with British actors in English language!!!  On checking the internet there are several recordings of Dinner for One and we have selected one of these for you to view  click here

Anyway, the British party guests at Cheersthe New Year´s party had great fun with it and we had to repeat it for them, which was not so difficult because a lot of German TV channels transmit the sketch during the whole evening.

Another advantage of celebrating New Year parties together with people of other nationalities is that we drank a toast to the New Year three times:   The first time was at 12.00 o´clock Turkish time,  the second time – 1 hour later – German time and the third time – again 1 hour later – British time!

The result you can see in the pictures I took!

Thanks goodness Horst didn´t invite any American friends!!! Otherwise I would not now be able to write this article!

Happy New Year to all our readers.

We would like to thank Ralph Kratzer, the Secretary of The Foreign Residents in the TRNC, for sharing this article with us.

Margaret Sheard

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