Alan Bleasdale is a fantastic writer. My all-time favourite play of his has GOT to be BOYS FROM THE BLACKSTUFF, in which the memorable character of Yosser Hughes - played so brilliantly by Bernard Hill - coined he classic phrase "Gizza job!".
I first watched this great series back in the Winter of 1982, and was utterly captivated and gobsmacked by its mixture of tragedy (mass unemployment, George's death etc.), realism and humour. I could not remember having enjoyed such a brilliant TV series in a long time, and I am proud to say that I now have this classic series on DVD.
Yes, Alan Bleasdale certainly did a fantastic job here!
Alan Bleasdale back with the BBC
Alan Bleasdale back with the BBC
Jul 18 2008 Liverpool Daily Post
Liverpool writer Alan Bleasdale _320
ACCLAIMED Liverpool playwright Alan Bleasdale is to have his first drama broadcast on the BBC in more than 20 years.
It will tell the story of the sinking of a British ship by a German U-boat in World War II.
The writer, famous for 1980s drama Boys From The Blackstuff, will tell the human side of the “Laconia Incident”, which changed the course of maritime warfare.
The armed British vessel RMS Laconia was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-Boat off the coast of west Africa on September 12, 1942.
When Lt Commander Werner Hartenstein discovered the ship was carrying civilians and Italian prisoners-of-war as well as British soldiers, he attempted to shepherd 200 survivors to safety against the orders of the Nazi high command.
The survivors were crammed on the top of his surfaced submarine with Red Cross flags draped over its gun decks to appeal for rescue.
But a US bomber assumed it was a trick and attacked, killing many of the Laconia survivors.
Bleasdale, 62, said: “This is an astonishing tale of bravery, humanity, warmth and near madness in the face of Fascism and the cruelty of war. Every writer must dream of being given a story such as this.”
BBC2 Controller Roly Keating said: “Alan Bleasdale has written some of the classic pieces of TV drama, including Boys From The Blackstuff on BBC2, so it is fantastic to be able to bring his hugely ambitious new work to the channel.”
Bleasdale’s last writing for the BBC which actually made it to the screen was the First World War drama The Monocled Mutineer in 1986.
It ends a lengthy “duck” with an organisation which the acclaimed Liverpool playwright has had an uneasy relationship with in the past. He said there was no shortage of BBC offers. But his work would be commissioned, the scripts written, but then the problems would begin.
Earlier this year he told the Daily Post’s Arts editor Philip Key: “The timing has not been brilliant. The number of times I have lost an executive producer, or the controller of BBC 1 has gone, goes beyond coincidence.
“So that left me knowing I had nine months work ahead of me for someone who did not know me and certainly would not have employed me.”
He kept writing the scripts “because that’s my craft”.
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