Friday, 27 August 2010

Wizards of Weatherfield

Today I went along to the "Wonderful Wizards of Weatherfield: 50 years of Coronation Street - A Masterclass" at the Edinburgh International Television Festival. It was a Q & A with Katherine Kelly, TV critic Gareth Maclean, executive producer Keiran Roberts, and a BBC trustee called David Liddement.
The photo shows the venue and my "other half" holding up the leaflets, by the way. It wasn't very well-attended, possibly because it was on at 11am on a weekday, but it was very entertaining and we also got a free Radio Times - result!
Main items of interest - Katherine Kelly looked wonderful and talked enthusiastically about the development of her role as Becky Macdonald. I was interested to learn that the writers and cast rarely meet, but that the actors have a large say in how their character develops - though not in the actual storylines. Katherine said that she made the decision for Becky to drink cider - apple juice and lemonade, apparently - and for her to be a smoker. She clearly loves being in Corrie and the producer seemed very keen on the character as well, saying that there is to be a big storyline with Becky, Steve and Tracy next year. I must say my heart sank at that point, as I'm not a fan of either Tracy or Becky (small doses only) - but let's move quickly on. We also got a sneak preview of next week's "wedding" episode, which looks hilarious. The looks on people's faces - Anna Windass's especially - are classic as the camera pans round when Claire drops the bombshell about Sophie and Sian snogging instead of minding the kids.
The tram crash was mentioned, of course - and apparently, it is a "homage" to the '67 one - but nothing new revealed. Five or six families' lives are to be "turned upside down" - but we knew that already.
For me, the highlight of the whole thing was a clip of an early episode of Corrie - it might have been the first one, I'm not sure - with Ena Sharples at full throttle in the corner shop. Long time fans will know immediately the scene I mean - it's the one where she talks about rolling away to "Crimmon", and says "you owe me an egg". Tony Warren's dialogue and Violet Carson's delivery are unbeatable, in my view.
Anyway - well worth ten quid (oh - less the free Radio Times!).

10 comments:

Chewy said...

Sounds like it were fun!

Tvor said...

Yes that is from episode 1, the Ena Sharples scene. It's almost poetic!

seapenguin said...

Yes - miles better than most of the stuff that's on telly these days. I must try to get hold of a DVD of that episode. They also showed a clip of the BBC4 drama about the early days - that looks pretty good as well.

Cobblestone said...

I watched those early episodes on dvd quite recently, and Ena's machine-gun delivery has never been bettered. There's one of the very early episodes when she's in hospital and is visited by Martha and delivers a rapid-fire description of how they've been treating her of such staggering political-incorrectness that the viewer feels she's just thrown a bucket of cold water over you. We had to keep winding it back and rewatching it. Absolutely genius character material! I really think that over the intervening years, for all Corrie's magnificent battle-axes, only Blanche has truly matched her.

Tvor said...

And really, though Blanche was very good, she only really had one-line "shots" wherease Ena would have all those lines . The writing and her delivery of them was stellar

Martin Rosen said...

Phew lucky I didn't go. I already get Radio Times on subscription LOL

BTW That is three more people we can rule out as being under the tram crash !

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that you mention that it was Katherine Kelly who decided that Becky should be a smoker because Katherine Kelly is not a smoker herself in real life. The ones she smokes on set are apparently herbal ciggies or such like (well, anyway they're not real).

Oh and I believe that Florizel street (got a feeling that's not the right spelling), the BBC4 drama depicting the launch of Corrie (starring Eastenders star, Jessie Wallace as Pat Phoenix) airs next week!

seapenguin said...

Yes I remembered you'd said about the ciggies before, so I was surprised too when she said that. They also went on (and on) about Becky's "redemption" as a character and her transformation from Kelly's unlikeable thieving mate to "married to Steve at the Rover's" and "one of the best loved characters" - I kind of switched off during those bits as I'm really not keen on the character at all I'm sorry to say - I'm sure Katherine Kelly is a smashing actress though. They also said that Kate Ford is to return in at Christmas. (gloom! not a fan of that idea either :()

Anonymous said...

I'm not that keen on Becky either. I sometimes get the impression that the writers do it for themselves rather than the viewers. Why else would Sean Tully still be in the show?

As for Becky,I actually preferred Steve when he was with Michelle Connor and I think that it was a mistake for the writers to split them up.

And, I absolutely hate it everytime Becky grabs hold of Steve and in incredibly OTT fashion sticks her tongue right down the back of his throat. It's not very pleasant on the eye imho.

As for Kate Ford returning as Tracey I actually preferred Dawn Acton in the role, although, (somewhat unbelievably!) I believe she actually auditioned for but was overlooked for the part when they decided to bring the character of TB back to the cobbles!. I wonder how they'll write her back into the show on a permanent basis seeing as she's about a mere 2 years into a life sentence for murder. Then again this is the UK we're talking about, so on second thoughts perhaps it wouldn't be that unrealistic for her to gain her release after all.

Flaming Nora said...

thanks so much for the write-up, very much appreciated!

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