Saturday, 18 May 2013

When Corrie's good, it's very, very good

Last night's Coronation Street ended with Roy and Hayley on the sofa, in a scene that brought a lump to my throat and reminded me why I continue to watch Coronation Street after 40 years a fan.

It was a scene with no fireworks, no hunk with their top off, no cleavage being shoved in our face, no Stella.

It was a scene that sung out with brilliant acting, a moment that could signal the change of one of our favourite characters, showing a chink in the armour of what is one of the strongest marriages and relationships in Coronation Street's history.

Roy opened up his heart, as much as he's ever done, to Hayley, to his mum and to us the viewers about the disappointment he felt about opening up an old wound - at Hayley's insistence.  The writer was Susan Oudot.

"I had no desire to read that letter," he tells Hayley.
"No, I know that, but..." she tries to interrupt.
"When one is abandoned there is a void as a child," he continues, "even as a teenager and a desire for that relationship which no longer exists, and there are, as you rightly suppose, many unanswered questions. But all of this I'm glad to say is diluted by age, healed by time and I can honestly say that I was contented."
"I know that but he wanted to see you," she butts in again.
"Yes yes, yes and I, I allowed myself to be intrigued by what he might have to say but now I'll never know."
"But you had to read the letter, how could you not?"
"Very easily, at first very easily, but you pushed and you pushed and well, now.... I'm no longer contented."
"Roy, I'm so, so sorry, I only did what was best for you. If I'm in any way to blame..."
"But you are. You are, Hayley. You are to blame."

Bravo to David Neilson and Julie Hesmondhalgh for a wonderful performance.  This is the sort of stuff that should be winning the soap awards for our favourite serial drama.


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15 comments:

Graeme N said...


I couldn't agree more. Their scenes actually jumped out at me last night because the quality of them was so much better than what we've been used to of late. The three actors involved were all brilliant.

Frosty the Snowman said...

The Roy, Hailey, Sylvia and the 2nd Mrs Cropper were by far the best scenes yesterday although I think that sadly the seed has been sown for Roy's upset with Hailey which will culminate in her leaving. Tina doing what she does best - shrewish yelling and more scenes of the revolting Prices boozing at the Bistro. This family really make the Windass/Armstrong clan look like the Waltons.

Fat Pooftah said...

Totally agree - that storyline has been pure class, totally character-driven rather than plot-driven with three superb actors showing the young 'uns how it should be done. I was actually talking to the telly - "see Hayley, you should have listened to Sylvia"

It made the scenes with Tina and Grizzy look like am-dram

Lateboomer said...

Stephanie Cole's performance as well just blew me away last night. Sylvia's pain at recognizing the abuse that Roy suffered from his father, admonishing him that he was nothing like St. John just gripped my heart.

What a fantastic actress.

Llifon said...

Amen to that. It's these kind of scenes that make Corrie what it is.

Anonymous said...

Yes voting closed for the British Soap Awards yesterday with its stupid categories like sexiest male and best exit. I entirely agree that it is this that should win awards.

Anonymous said...

Fabulous absolutely. The scene with Haley and Roy in their car just before they left and him telling her how much he loved her..awww...and now I suppose this is the beginning of the end of Haley and Roy.
Roy has to go through all the trauma of losing his dad all over again.
Great episode!!!

Anonymous said...

You mustn't think much of Roy and Hayley's long marriage if you think a little tiff over a letter is enough to split them up... flippin' eck... I fear something far more unsalvagable is likely to tear them apart :(

Joseph said...

This is the storyline that's kept me watching Corrie, and that is largely down to David Neilson, Julie Hesmondhalgh, and Stephanie Cole who've all made this otherwise cliched soap trope into something more.

That last scene was so realistic, I was nearly moved to tears. I mean, I've actually felt Roy's grief, confusion and anger in the past year (even though our situations are different).

Don't underestimate that 'little tiff' Anon. It was far more than that. Roy hates change, and this would be a hell of a blow for anyone. Couple that with the confusing emotions he's now feeling over the father he thought didn't love him and he's in a very vulnerable place. His actions could very well spell out the beginning of the end for his and Hayley's marriage. I hope it doesn't but with Hayley leaving, it may very well do.

Anonymous said...

Completely agree - that was brilliant. The three actors were superb, conveying all the nuances of strong emotions and pain without shouting or flouncing about.

This is why I watch Coronation Street, it is the payoff for sitting through a year of the other stuff.

Anonymous said...

David Neilson is just brilliant. I hope he doesn't consider leaving now Julie Hesmondhalgh is off. He's easily one of the best actors in the entire history of the show (quite possibly the best MALE actor...apart from Bill Tarmey perhaps).

Stephanie Cole and Julie Hesmondhalgh fantastic also. Sylvia Cropper such a great character. Already a Corrie Great and she's only been on screen for 2 years. Hope she stays for ages as Corrie really needs her at the moment....and the next few months may be very tough for the show.

Kate said...

I could not agree more. There was so much going on here, all three feeling complex, contradictory, real emotions. My favourite scenes I have seen on Corrie in a LONG time. I was moved to tears when Sylvia said Roy was nothing like his father.

Ida Reigns said...

Agreed completely; this is the stuff on which Corrie was created. No explosive anything. Subtle, brilliant acting, brilliant writing, real human interest.

Mary Prankster said...

This storyline raises so many interesting questions. I hope they will be explored and explained over the next few months, factoring in the knowledge that the character of Hailey is being written out. It goes without saying that the wonderful actors playing these roles are more than capable of anything the writers may ask them to portray.
How much do we currently know about Roy's upbringing? Why did his father leave? We've been told by Sylvia (and Roy's demonstrated) that he must have been difficult to contend with, and Sylvia has shown (and "sort of" admitted) that she wasn't always up to the job. My own impression is that they are alike in many ways, making expressions of support and affection difficult. I also think we've been shown that Roy has arrived at an explanation that he's been able to accept and live with up to now, but this new knowledge is forcing him to re-think what happened, and he's finding it extremely disconcerting and uncomfortable, causing emotions he's ill-equipped to handle, so Hayley's bearing the brunt of his unhappiness.
I wonder if anyone else experienced what I did when watching Roy and Hayley's meeting with his step-mother. To me she seemed very kind and sympathetic. It was obvious that she knew about Roy, and that he had been the subject of much discussion between his father and his second wife. It was indisputable that his father had cared about Roy, had not forgotten him, and would have liked a continued relationship with him. This does not fit with the story Roy had created.
I also wonder if anyone else noticed what seemed like a new observation by Roy that perhaps the story that his mother has told him over the years has been very one-sided, and possibly not accurate. This is causing him to have to re-evaluate his loyalties. No wonder he's lashing out at Hayley. I can only hope that she realizes this is about much more than her pressuring ("pressurizing"?)him to open this old wound.

Anonymous said...

Spot on MP--

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