Putting On The Dish

Comedy/Drama | 6mins | English (UK) | 2015

Written & Directed by: Karl Eccleston & Brian Fairbaim
Starring: Neil Chinnock & Steve Wickenden

Putting On The Dish SS

London, 1962: Two strangers strike up a conversation about life and sex using Polari slang to talk about their experiences.


Why you should watch it:

  • To try and understand the slang
  • To hear the origins of words still used

A little more insight…

Putting On The Dish is a film that will require multiple sittings in order to understand what is being talked about – unless you know Polari.

There were occasional words which I understood, such as knosh and mincing, because they are still in use today. There were also terms that I think I understood, such as chicken. It’s also apparent that they referred to guys as girls due to the criminality of gay sex – which is something I’ve never stopped to consider.

I’ve never understood why some guys today still refer to other guys or themselves as she when they don’t identify as female and it’s extremely easy to get caught up in an argument over it due to the greater visibility and awareness of trans. However in light of Polari it makes complete sense, even if the need is no longer there – though I wonder how many of those who still use it these days know the origins.

Despite the’language barrier’ I think I understood much of what was being said and, even if I didn’t, the delivery of the lines and the interaction between the characters was entertaining on its own.

It also appeared to highlight the fact that people would grass on others to save their own skin – which is a sad reality of the criminalisation of many things.


Things that bugged me:

  • The fact that he didn’t wipe the spit
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