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Started by mazylou on Jun 23, 2020 7:28:42 PM
Talking Heads

A revival of Alan Bennett’s classic monologues. Tonight, starting at 21.00, BBC1.

Think they’ll stand up?

hailesaladdie - 23 Jun 2020 21:52:25 (#1 of 36)

Same as it ever was.

solomongursky - 23 Jun 2020 22:13:22 (#2 of 36)

When they filmed the Thora Hird one the cameraman started crying.

Pinkgum - 23 Jun 2020 22:18:58 (#3 of 36)

I enjoyed the first tonight, but got a bit distracted in the second. Think that's more down to my zombie brain after working 7 days in a row after being on furlough than any failings by Sarah Lancashire.

StakludKar - 23 Jun 2020 22:24:23 (#4 of 36)

Maureen doesn't strike me as a teenage girl name now.

Georgia maybe.

Or Chloe

OldLefty - 27 Jun 2020 13:12:45 (#5 of 36)

I've watched the first two, and was disappointed. As with a lot of remakes, I couldn't see the point. The originals in 1988 were very much of their time, in that the plays were set then, and the actors were playing people the same age as them, and so understood the prevailing culture of the time, from the viewpoint of people in that age group.

As an example, in Soldiering on, Stephanie Cole delivered the words "Bloody psychiatrist" with an understanding of the way child abuse, especially within families, was regarded then, with great subtlety (always important with Bennett) and a lot implied rather than spoken. Harriet Walter delivered the line with an understanding of child abuse from a 2020 viewpoint.

From the same play, at the end, the line "I wouldn't want you to think that this was a tragic story", with Cole the line implied (to me at any rate) that it wasn't tragic, and she was actually happier than she had ever been. Walter just sounded as if she was miserable.

WibbleAgain - 27 Jun 2020 14:04:12 (#6 of 36)

I couldn't get on with the first episode, because I couldn't make out what the actress was saying. She certainly didn't ennunciate, and there were no subtitles on the iPlayer. I switched off after five minutes.

I like the Harriet Walter performance (I'm a HW fan). At the end she may indeed be sad (rather than miserable), and was just putting a brace face with "I wouldn't wnt you to think this was a tragic story", bucking up and accepting her lot. As it stands, I thought it was better sweet. Taking in its entirely, such a life is neither an entire tragedy nor a happy ending, it's always a nuanced mixed bag of regrets, hindsights and acceptance.

Whichever way, it's an entirely legit take, whether in the 1980s or the 2020s.

airynothing - 27 Jun 2020 14:32:17 (#7 of 36)

Which are you thinking of when you say the first episode? There have been three so far, with Imelda Staunton, Sarah Lancashire and Harriet Walter.

I’m not sure why you think they shouldn’t have been remade. It brings them to a new audience, both of people who were too young/not born enough to have seen them the first time, and for people who may have seen them, but will view them through a different lens of life experience.

And in any case, why not give new actors a crack at great roles? No performance is definitive.

JohnIlly - 27 Jun 2020 14:36:19 (#8 of 36)

Sarah Lancashire's enunciation wasn't that good.

The original series had several good examples of how actors can speak very quietly but be perfectly audible.

OldLefty - 27 Jun 2020 14:40:26 (#9 of 36)

I've watched episodes 1 and 3 on the Iplayer - for some reason my digibox didn't record them. I didn't realise I'd missed the Sarah Lancashire one. And for some reason BBC Wales seem to be showing them out of order anyway.

airynothing - 27 Jun 2020 14:43:12 (#10 of 36)

Oh, I see. I misread.

I didn’t see the original Stephanie Cole one, so can’t compare the two, but I thought Walter was outstanding.

Post deleted by user
OldLefty - 27 Jun 2020 14:51:20 (#12 of 36)

Oh FFS. I wanted to add a new comment but it's replaced the previous one. From memory the missing one was:

I didn't say they shouldn't have been remade - if I had I wouldn't have bothered watching any of them. I was interested to see what a fresh performance would bring. I just don't see that the performances I've seen brought anything worthwhile. YMMV.

melpomene - 27 Jun 2020 14:52:10 (#13 of 36)

I didn't like the Jodie Comer one as much as when Julie Walters did it.

The Imelda Staunton one was good, although I did keep having Patricia Routledge in my mind as I watched it, which was unhelpful. Sarah Lancashire was great, although the story was a bit... Harriet Walter was great, I thought.

melpomene - 27 Jun 2020 14:53:36 (#14 of 36)

I remember them of old, and have the book. MrM has never seen them, so it's interesting watching them with him and seeing where he thinks it's going to go, and whether he's right or not.

OldLefty - 27 Jun 2020 14:54:35 (#15 of 36)

It would be interesting if Bennett wrote some new ones set in 2020. Heaven knows there's plenty of material.

airynothing - 27 Jun 2020 14:55:34 (#16 of 36)

There are two (I think) new ones, one of which was the Sarah Lancashire one you haven’t seen yet.

JohnIlly - 27 Jun 2020 14:56:16 (#17 of 36)

I suppose the new ones are set in 2019 Who would have thought there would be so much difference?

OldLefty - 27 Jun 2020 14:59:42 (#18 of 36)

I'll probably give the Sarah Lancashire one a go next then.

carterbrandon - 27 Jun 2020 15:44:53 (#19 of 36)

I didn't like the Jodie Comer one as much as when Julie Walters did it.

For Jodie Comer monologues, you have to YouTube 'Bovril Pam'. Saucy.

WibbleAgain - 27 Jun 2020 15:48:34 (#20 of 36)

I saw 5 minutes of Sarah Lancashire. I don't know the actress and couldn't make head or tail of what she was saying.

I have obviously missed the Imelda Staunton one, which I shall go and make sure I see it. I am a fan.

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