Sometimes on the Telly

Drama about drama is sort of like big fleas have little fleas, only the Road To Coronation Street, which was originally called Florizell Street, was more than that.

Daran Little’s script was entertaining, interesting and, for all struggling playwrights hoping to be noticed, a reminder of just how hard that is. (When checking out the writer’s name I had to expand the credits, because he doesn’t appear with the top ranked actors!) Take the politics of big business for a start. Our advertisers won’t like a play with mean streets and Northern (if you’re in London Manchester is North) accents. Then the Canadian chap in charge of commissioning, tries it out on the little people who do actually watch tv. Brilliant.

Casting with the writer on your shoulder demanding perfection became a fraught and haunting business. Lynda Baron, the actress chosen to play Violet Carsons sent shivers down my spine. Nostalgia is a great tool and I remember the early broadcasts – not least because we were allowed to stay up half an hour to watch – and my granny tut-tutting over Ena Sharples’ behaviour.

The other really startling shot was of the all-male board. None of that’s very far away, ladies. Keep it in mind.

Did everybody actually smoke that much? I do remember the first office I worked in where I shared the space with three folk who did, so probably. The fags became a non-speaking character in my eye. Must remember that trick.

Okay, back to the Fringe. I’m going venue spotting with a Director on Wednesday. Might let you know – on the other hand if we find a goody …

4 thoughts on “Sometimes on the Telly

  1. I saw this first time around Anne. It is interesting to note how certain things in Corrie have not changed, ie there is just as much smoking as in the early days!
    And I really DO wish they would do a bit of interior decoration in their homes – very dated. However, I love Coronation Street even though the characters are becoming younger and younger. Or is it just that I am getting older and older?

    • I know what you mean about characters seeming younger and younger. It’s always been difficult to tell people’s age, but now I find it very hard. I have noticed in the last couple of years how the girls all wear pretty dresses and we older ladies wear trousers. This is an exact reversal of life when I was gel.

  2. Great posting, Anne. Whereas it seemed everyone seemed to be smoking back then, more recently it would seem drinking has taken over. Take Emmerdale for example + Coronation Street, just how much do they think ordinary folk can consume. Apart from anything else, it’s so expensive, and who can return back to work after a liquid lunch and function properly, I certainly couldn’t/can’t. Is it all kidology so they don’t have to spend any money redecorating via changing the props/scenery?

  3. Hi Marilyn, Some of it is the need to have a ‘meeting place’ where all the characters ‘meet’. Pricing, in real life, must make the number of visits far fewer than the shows would have us believe. I suppose the viewer just has to regard each episode as an individual drama. Anne

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