Malisa Sledmere – Secretary of Defence
“You can’t fight in here! This is the war room.”
Malisa Sledmere is a founding member of No. 6 Cinema, Portsmouth’s only independent cinema. Located in the city’s historic dockyard, No. 6 has for some years now been showing a diverse range of art house, classic and cult films. The largest screen in the South East, and a fantastic venue, No. 6 will be holding a special screening of Dr Strangelove on Tuesday April 14.
This Is the Week That Is caught up with Malisa as preparations for the event were underway.
TITWTI: What’s your favourite satirical film/television programme?
MS: Some of my favourite satirical sketches came to me via my father’s record collection. He had been to see the live performance of ‘Beyond the Fringe’ and had bought the LP version and I loved it. I listened to it over and over and the more I listened the funnier it became, strange really because I was probably listening to it in the early ’70’s, quite a long time after it had been written.
‘Beyond the Fringe’ was the precursor to ‘That was the Week that Was’ which so brilliantly took up the baton of lampooning authority. My father in law worked at the BBC in those days. He was a floor manager at the BBC and worked on TW3. We often have a titter when we see the much-reeled-out clip of him rushing in to defend Bernard Levin from Desmond Leslie who famously punched Levin on live TV.
Amongst the films I love are ‘The Man in the White Suit’ with Alec Guinness and ‘I’m Alright Jack’ with the inimitable Peter Sellers.
TITWTI: Is there a current politician you feeling deserving of a good lampooning?
MS: Hard to think of anyone who deserves it as much as the Conservative party in the days of Maggie Thatcher. Nothing really beats ‘Spitting Image’ and their wicked portrayal of Thatcher and Tebbit, whose personas became progressively more extreme. Politicians now seem quite anodyne in comparison. To my mind all the royals deserve whatever comes their way.
TITWTI: What are your views on the current state of political satire? Is there much around today?
MS: I think there is but maybe it isn’t as shocking as it was in the early ’60’s when people were much more deferent than they are today. I was watching a clip of a guy called John Oliver who is British but has a show in the US called ‘Last Week Tonight’. He was laying into FIFA who deserve it in spades, he flagged up that the headquarters boardroom of FIFA is modeled on Dr Strangelove’s famous war room! Anyway, do stop worrying about the bomb and come and see Dr Strangelove at No. 6 on Tuesday April 14th.
To book tickets for Dr Strangelove visit the No. 6 website: https://www.no6cinema.co.uk/films/dr-strangelove-or-how-i-learnt-to-stop-worrying-and-love-the-bomb