Edna, the Inebriate Woman

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Edna, the Inebriate Woman is a British television drama starring Patricia Hayes. The film, which was written by award-winning screenwriter Jeremy Sandford, was first broadcast on BBC 1 as part of the Play for Today series on 21 October 1971. It was directed by Ted Kotcheff and produced by Irene Shubik. Filming took place in November and December 1970.[1]

Synopsis[edit]

The play deals with an elderly woman, Edna (Patricia Hayes), who wanders through life in an alcoholic haze without a home, a job or any money. A rambling, pathetic yet defiant woman, Edna sleeps rough and begs for food and shelter and the drama follows her progress as she moves from hostel to hostel, going to a psychiatric ward and then prison along the way. At the end a small home for homeless women run by Josie Quinn (Barbara Jefford) of a Christian charity 'Jesus Saves' is closed down after an inquiry following the complaints of neighbours. Edna and the other women are on the road again.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Writitng[edit]

Jeremy Sandford, who had previously written Cathy Come Home, researched the play by living rough himself for two weeks. A great deal of the dialogue and the incidents in the play come from the book, Down and Out in Britain published by Jeremy Sandford in 1971; although the majority of the speakers in the book are male, Sandford puts much of their speech into the mouth of the female character.

Casting[edit]

The drama features one of the few acting roles (as a tramp) of British actor Vivian MacKerrell, the real-life inspiration for the character Withnail in the 1987 cult British film Withnail and I.

Awards[edit]

At the 1972 British Academy Television Awards, the play won the Best Drama Production category and Patricia Hayes received the award for Best Actress.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shubik, Irene (2000). Play For Today: The Evolution of Television Drama. Manchester University Press. p. 112. ISBN 9780719056871. 

External links[edit]