Take a Pew

Alan Bennett’s wonderful sketch ‘Take a Pew’ may resonate with fewer and fewer people as time goes on, but for those of us brought up on the sermons of the Anglican church, it’s still hilarious.

There are many different recordings of it out there, but none of them, I think, is quite as polished as the one I remember on an old comedy compilation album from the 80s. After extensive searching, it appears that this never made it online, and in fact, never made it beyond LPs and cassettes. I would have been happy to purchase a copy, but was unable to do so.

So, after finding a second-hand copy of the cassette from an online retailer, digging my old cassette desk out of the loft and giving it a good vacuum, and connecting it through a USB audio interface to my Macbook, I offer it here for your enjoyment.


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“Take a pew” is wonderful. It is available on a CD titled “The Complete Beyond The Fringe (1961 Original London Cast)”.


is one place to purchase it.

Ah – splendid – thanks – that sounds like the same version.

Many of the ones I found on other albums or on YouTube are also good, but not, I think, quite as good.

Though this one is rather nice…

Thanks so much for posting this – I haven’t heard it in years and couldn’t find this particular version on YouTube. Am I right in thinking there’s a bit missing, though? I think there’s usually a bit about admiring the sunset at the top of a Scottish mountain with a friend who “suddenly and violently…vomited”.

Still…love this. Thanks again!

Hi Phil – thanks for your message,

Yes, that’s in some of the other versions, but not in this one. They’re all good, but this is my favourite.


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