However, I found Edna: The Inebriate Woman to be lacking in that same critical weight that other social realist plays made around the same time seem to have. Since the great Francisco Rocha the Henri Langlois of modern cinema for us Portuguese cinephiles has invited me to select…. Edna: The Inebriate Woman. Director Ted Kotcheff.
Irene Shubik. Jeremy Sandford.
Studio BBC. Genres tv movie drama. Rewatched May 06 , The Play's The Thing Project. Written by Cathy Come Home writer Jeremy Sandford, it is another look at the homeless situation from the point of view of a destitute woman completely and utterly failed by the system around her. The play was originally to be called The Lodging House and serve as part of a trilogy along with Till the End of the Plums, about hostile local attitudes to a gypsy settlement, and Arlene, about an unmarried mother.go site
ISBN 13: 9780330027151
It meant the budget escalated wildly, and some of its contemporaries suffered as a result, but the success and plaudits it received must have more than made up for it. The wider scope made for a more rambling, fragmented plot which, to some extent, perfectly complimented and reflected Edna's own aimless existence.
Sandford presents her way of life matter of factly to the viewer and we see for ourselves how a woman like Edna is viewed as an embarrassment, an inconvenience or worse, a nothing - something which Edna fears and loathes the most - by society in general. Passed from pillar to post by a variety of towns, doss houses, hospitals and dole offices Edna finally finds a stable environment in the shape of the 'Jesus Saves' refuge, run by Barbara Jefford's idealistic and capable character, but when the house is forced to close thanks to a campaign by neighbouring residents who are up in arms about the riff raff on their own doorstep, Edna finds herself back on the road and back at square one.
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Like Cathy in his previous groundbreaking, conscience raising piece, Sandford created a sympathetic character in Edna but in the hands of Patricia Hayes, an actress who was more known for comedy than straight drama, there is no attempt to smooth out the rough edges of the rude, funny, occasionally fiery yet utterly proud Edna.