Monday, 18 April 2016

Strong Women and Feckless Men - my Coronation Street talk in Sheffield

I am very pleased to report that my talk on Saturday at the Manor Library in Sheffield, about the happenings on the cobbles, was received most warmly. The organiser noted that I didn't appear nervous and that was probably because I wasn't nervous. Many things bother me, I'm not immune from nerves, and some things make me very anxious indeed, but talking to groups of people is not one of them. Having taught for many years is a tremendous help.

The audience was lovely. Fortunately they laughed in the right places and, when invited, asked plenty of questions. I talked them through the decades, and hung on to the theme of Strong Women and Feckless Men. That wasn't difficult as during each decade you can find both.

Most of the audience was interested in the original characters and seemed to imply that Corrie was better then - during the sixties and seventies. Any thoughts on that?

Much loved characters were the ones you would accurately guess - Ena, Elsie, Hilda and Bet. Their absolute favourite? Elsie. The general feeling was that the current characters would not make the iconic status of those four. Only time will tell. I would be delighted if others would add a comment as to whether or not they agree. The average age of the audience was 50+, though there were a couple of teenagers - a boy and a girl.

Their opinions largely concurred with what readers of the blog say in their comments. A wish for more excellent dialogue, excellent characterisation, more humour, fewer affairs and a break from dramatic crashes and fires.

Their favourite current couple? Sally and Tim, of course. Eeh, they're alrayt them Sheffield folk! Especially as I was asked to do another talk at some point!

Ruth Owen - twitter @ruth1722

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Robin Middleton said...

Wish I could have been there!

I loved the oldies, Ena, Elsie, Minnie, Annie, etc.

rob h said...

One thing i hate about corrie now is that too many of the characters are well off. In elsie and ena's time most of the street struggled to earn living now most can jet off abroad at a moments notice

Anonymous said...

rob h,I agree with your comments.For example,if the Odgens didn't have money they simply didn't go to the pub.Now it seems no matter how 'broke'they are, characters are still seen in the pub, Roy's or even the Bistro.

Ruth Owen said...

Ah, thank you Robin!

70sStreetFan said...

Sounds fascinating Ruth. I'd add Annie to that elite list. I don't think that any of the current characters could be added to that list. Even the best are constantly undermined by today's sensationalist plots. The older characters lived in a more solid,believable universe,they behaved consistently and seemed more real and truthful as a result.

Ruth Owen said...

70s StreetFan I would say that my audience almost exactly echoed your thoughts. Maybe I should invite the writing team to my next talk so that try can hear opinions of the authentic fans.

Anonymous said...

I'm knocking on 50 and I'm sorry to sound like an old stick in the mud - but yes, the characters aren't a patch on what they were. I think the problems are - too many sensational stories so the characters are forced to change character too many times, too many younger characters, too many characters, a certain realism has been lost, too many episodes Give me an re-run of an episode featuring Bet, Elsie, Ena or Annie over the current lot any day.

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