Cosy crimes and gritty sagas by Corrie Blog editor Glenda, published by Headline. Click pic below!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

The Many Lives of Leanne

I can only echo the comments of others regarding the recent performances of Jane Danson as Leanne Barlow. Her work stands out especially when set against some of the weaker plots that have been doing the rounds. As viewers we've followed Leanne's thorny path from nasty teen to would-be Mum over the past fourteen years.

Of course, it has not always made for easy or pleasant viewing. In the early days we had to contend with Leanne being unpleasant to the much-loved duo of Mavis & Derek Wilton. She was Nick Tilsley's trollop of a girlfriend and then much-maligned wife. When we saw Nick's true colours, at last there was a chance to empathise with Leanne. Not that it lasted. Soon she had established herself as the cocaine-snorting barmaid at the Rovers, including a particularly harrowing storyline when the pub was smashed up by Jez Quigley and co. Leanne then disappeared but four years away from the cobbles did nothing to mellow her. She returned as a prostitute hell bent on causing problems for Maria and ex-hubby Nick. There was her loathsome involvement with Danny Baldwin, possibly Leanne at her worst and then the Liam Connor fiasco. Add to that her failed business - the tatty pizza restaurant - and her life went up in flames.

Surprisngly then, her saviour was a recovering alcoholic with a small child in tow. Teaming Leanne up with Peter Barlow brought together two damaged individuals into one fierce little family group. Life will never be easy or straightforward for this generation of Barlows with demons a plenty for both of them to face. However, there is a steely determination from both parties to make this work, whatever the obstacles.

Leanne, you are certainly more than a tart with a heart. We salute you!


Llywela said...

It's funny - I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Leanne really has reinvented herself over the last couple of years. Being with Peter bought her instant respectability and she really has thrived on it - there is almost no one left on the street now who would dream of throwing her sordid past back in her face, it's as if all those mistakes have been airbrushed out of history. She and Peter have been so, so good for each other, I'm constantly rooting for their relationship to survive and thrive.

But on the flip side of the coin, I can't help but worry about how unbalanced their relationship is. Because in many ways, Leanne's shiny new image has come at Peter's expense, built as it is on this appearance of being the saint who took on an alcoholic single dad and straightened his life out for him. Which means that while Leanne is allowed to put her mistakes behind her, as if they never happened, Peter is constantly reminded of his, is never allowed to forget his weaknesses. He has been just as good for Leanne as Leanne has been for him, but only one of them ever gets any credit...and it isn't Peter. And although in many ways it is a strength that they complement one another so well, that imbalance is a serious weakness in their relationship that really needs to be addressed.

Llifon said...

Sorry to be a fusspot - but Derek had died in April 1997, and Leanne didn't debut til July.

David said...

She is amazing isn't she. Leanne is currently one of my favourite characters and her and Peter make such a good, believable couple who work because both characters are very fleshed out and have a lot more to them that a lot of the other characters on the street.

Anonymous said...

It really kills me how she can throw Peter's past up in his face whenever she's hissy, but he doesn't say a word about her:
-drug abuse
-her affair with her boyfriends father (Jamie)
-her affair with Nick
-her job as a lap dancer
-her theft of her co-workers lottery winnings with accomplice Janice

have I missed anything?

Anyway, the writers have really gone overboard trying to paint her with their Claire Peacock brush...sorry..not buying into this one bit..the old Leanne will have to surface.

Dolly Tubb said...

Leanne and Peter are such an amazing couple and I do hope that, whilst the PTB may wish to 'tinker' with their relationship, I do hope they don't ever split them up - I think the see-saw of their relationship is far greater compelling viewing than if they were apart (bad grammar there but I think you know what I mean!). This is where the Corrie production team have got things spot on!

And as for Jane Danson not winning Best Actress in soap awards, tbh I think her performances transcend the pantomime farce that such awards seem to have become. I just hope she knows how fnatastic we all think she is! (and Chris Gascoyne too!)

Cobblestone said...

Her fellow cast-members voted her the best 'Live Actress' in the live show last year. I'm sure that would have meanst more to jane than any ridiculous soap award. The respect of their peers means a huge amount to actors.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Jane D. win best actress last year?

Carole Mac said...

Whatever you say about Leanne and they have reinvented her a bit and made her softer, she is played excellently by Jane Danson. She and Chris/Peter are carrying everyone at the moment. Simon is also a cracking little actor but there are some very poor ones along with Dev and Ken I am sorry to say I always find very stiff and wooden. Helen Worth is also medicore with her blinking and whispering and pulling "that face".

gab said...

im sorry i dont like leanne-jane plays her well enough its the constant hypocritical comments and arguments she starts lately

how dare she have a go at peter for even talking to carla when she had an affair with her ex husband? he never brings this up and i jsut dont get where the writers are going-well i do its to do with carla but to not even balance the argument out annoys me

its like shes saint leanne and hes the wrong un-i jsut dont get it i wanna slap her sometimes or jsut say peter speak up for yourself

Anonymous said...

Jane Danson is a brilliant actress and so is Chris Gascoyne. Love watching him!


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