Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Divine Comedy

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Divine Comedy

Article excerpt

COMEDIAN Jack Whitehall is perfectly cast as a posh Oxford University student set upon a quiet life of contemplation as a priest.

(He and his friend play chess and plan days out to do brass rubbings. Cue plenty of sexual innuendo and arched eyebrows - and perhaps a cheeky nod to news stories about politicians and their university antics.

But as this Evelyn Waugh adaptation begins in 1928, poor innocent Paul Pennyfeather (Whitehall) is accidentally embroiled in a scandal when a group of drunken students strip him naked - oh, the shame. "He ran the whole length of the quadrangle without his trousers? That's not a standard we expect from a scholar!" And so Pennyfeather is unceremoniously booted out, left to fend for himself with a reference that screams "this person behaved in an indecent manner in public".

He ends up taking a job as a school master at a terrible public school in Wales, tasked with teaching all manner of subjects including cricket (which he can't play) and German (which he can't speak). …

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