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Thursday 30 August 2018

When old friends fall out - Rita and Audrey

I thoroughly enjoy the interaction between the more mature actors in Corrie and I particularly enjoy Rita and Audrey, who are the most senior women in Corrie currently.

So, what a shame that they had a bit of a falling out, seemingly over money.

As viewers will know, Rita has had a bit of a windfall and has kindly decided to invest in Maria who is joining forces with Claudia in her hairdressers.

I am a little surprised by this as I hadn’t noticed a special friendship between Maria and Rita, but maybe Rita just thought that Maria needed a break. And she’s right. Maria is a single parent to Liam and being a single parent is not an easy role.

But is there more than meets the eye in Rita’s investment? My own view is that I don’t think so. Rita is good-hearted and I don’t think for one minute she would try to do down Audrey and pose a threat to her business. Initially it was Carla who was going to invest in Maria’s hairdressers, but Carla is too welded to the factory.

I found it hard to watch Audrey and Rita bickering. News travels fast of course on the cobbles, so Rita and Maria having a drink were shortly joined by Audrey and Emma. Audrey opens with, ‘How far do we go back Rita?’

‘Oh Audrey! Longer than I care to remember.’

‘Well, I expected better,’ says Audrey. ‘And as for you Maria…’

‘It’s not up to you what I do with my money or what she does with her scissors,’ says Rita.

‘And where would you be without me Maria? Back in the kennels,’ says Audrey, answering her own question.

Rita counters, ‘And where would you be without her? Closed down.’ Rita also answering her own question.

Maybe Audrey should have promoted Maria or at least offered her a share in the business. Did Audrey take Maria for granted? Was it inevitable that Maria would eventually want her own salon or a part share in a business

Rita and Audrey bustle out of the pub and Maria and Emma are left to ponder what they themselves might be like in 80 years…

All being well, Rita and Audrey will make it up to each other, but I have a nagging feeling that there is more to this fall-out than Rita investing in Maria’s future, and that the old friends will not be reconciled fully. Audrey was always a tiny bit jealous of Rita as she knew her Alfie had a soft spot for Rita and proposed marriage before he proposed to Audrey. Or might this spat be about Lewis Archer?

Maria is a good hairdresser and she has to make her own future as bright as possible for herself and for Liam She is showing ambition too, which there seems to be a dearth of among the younger cobble dwellers.

In general, then, do people forgive and forget or are they more likely to bear a grudge and take it to the grave?

By Ruth Owen, twitter: @Ruth1722

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Laura said...

Nice article. When it comes to holding a grudge, I think it depends on the person. From what I've seen anyway, there are people who let things go, sometimes pretty big things...and there are others who are offended by relatively minor slights and hang on to their feelings of anger and resentment far longer than seems reasonable.

Also wanted to mention that I find some of this a little rich coming from Rita. Given the history between her, Audrey, and Maria, she shouldn't be surprised that Audrey is upset. Rita knows about emotional grudges - not that long ago she gave Freddie an unreasonably hard time over his winnings that she felt entitled to, with pretty shaky justification for it. If Freddie hadn't backed down and just given her what she wanted, she would have ruined a friendship over a small sum of money.

The history between Audrey and Maria makes this a grey situation to me. Although they've shown signs lately that Audrey is taking Maria for granted, before that I seem to remember Audrey doing way more for Maria than any other employer would have - giving her a job when she had no qualifications and training her, holding her job for her whenever she unexpectedly went on hiatus to Ireland, prison, etc., letting her leave work early fairly often just to be nice, never complaining when she needed to leave work unexpectedly for Liam, etc. Maria isn't exactly dependable, and not someone I would want to partner with based on her track record. She shouldn't really have been surprised when Audrey told her that if she was going to partner with anyone it would be David. He's not exactly Mr. Dependable either, but he is family, and if Maria knew anything about the Platts after so many years of sleeping with and working with its various members, you'd think she'd know by now that that would trump everything else.

Pat said...

I can't help thinking that this is going to end badly and that Maria and now Rita are being misled by Claudia.

Anonymous said...

In my personal opinion I wouldn't step foot inside that salon. They are completely unprofessional and unreliable. Relatives prance in and out of the salon constantly and they gossip about everyone in front of the clients.
Isn't Bethany supposed to be working there as well? What exactly is Emma's role, all I ever see her do is make coffee runs and sweep the floor?
I don't Audrey owes Maria a thing, if she is so unhappy go and work at another salon. Maria is well past her sell by date and I have no interest in her character at all.

Ruth owen said...

Great points everyone. Laura, really enjoyed your comments and yes, Claudia isn’t the first person I’d trust, either.

abbyk said...

There’s a lot to unpack here.
- I don’t trust Claudia, either, there’s something off with her. Carla was on the right track, asking to see the books and projections but she got poo pooed. Rita just handed over the cash with barely a handshake; a very soapy set up for disaster.
- Rita has held several grudges with other oldies but always has a space in her heart for young single ladies. This persistent pseudo mothering has become kinda weird.
- Yes, Audrey trained her but she worked it off ages ago. And yes, Audrey has taken her back after her various breakdowns, not out of the goodness of her heart, but because her business needed trained hands. And those trained hands kept things running smoothly through plenty of absences due to Platt crises. I think the whole thing could have been better handled even in soap dramatics terms (explain that it’s a family business, have Maria earn more by renting a chair at a more posh salon instead of being an inexperienced franchisee,...) but here we are.

Rapunzel said...

Maria was also left well-off after Liam died but that seems to have been quietly forgotten about over the years.

Ruth owen said...

Great analysis Abby K and thank you Rapunzel for pointing that out - I’d forgotten that Maria had some money after Liam’s death.


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