The Comedy Vault – Mirrorball.

Mirrorball (BBC1, 2000)

Absolutely Fabulous was a popular long-running sitcom, and at a time when there were no plans for another series, the cast got together to try something a little different. As this is included as an extra on the boxset, I thought that I might was well review this too. Unlike Absolutely Fabulous, which mostly centred around the world of fashion, Mirrorball was all about acting. This carried on in a similar style, with plenty of outrageous moments.

Jennifer Saunders (who was also the writer) played Vivienne (and went on to play a different character with this name in a later sitcom), an actress and dancer who is well past her best, not that her best was ever that good. She is resting most of the time, and wanting to recapture her sparkle, often attends auditions. Her best friend is Jackie, who lives on the floor below. She is a singer and model who is rather past-it too, having a brief moment of fame in the late-70s.

Also featuring are Freda (although it wasn’t made clear if this was Vivienne’s daughter or sister), who is an actress too, and is doing well by comparison, being able to turn down high-profile roles, and she is even a member of RADA. Vivienne takes little notice of her advice though. And there was the rather bizarre Yitta, who had something of a dubious grip on the English language, and just about everything else really.

Vivienne decides to audition for a theatre musical to try and prove that she still has it, and bumps into Bonnie Langford who is trying for the same role. She somehow manages to get the role, but then she has an accident, but she is so desperate to take this opportunity to be on stage that she decides her injuries mustn’t stop her from having her big moment, but of course it does, and she does wonder if she will ever be able to fulfil her potential.

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But we will never know if that is going to happen, because despite being up to the usual standard, there would be no further episodes of Mirrorball. It was decided to leave this and revive Absolutely Fabulous (which would end up running for another decade), meaning that this one is now rather unfairly forgotten by comparison. It did have plenty of enjoyable moments though.


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