BBC4 will be showing Alan Bleasdale's Liverpool-set 1980's series Boys from the Blackstuff starting Wednesday July 6th. It's an important anniversary of the work -but why and how did Liverpool theatre, film and TV become an almost institutionalised lingua franca for British working class expression and struggle from the 1980s on? What is it about the culture of that city that made it such a working class touchstone? Neil Cooper looks into the Merseyside context of Bleasdale's writing and gives us a fully researched and detailed examination of the history and legacy of the great work done.
On 17th May the British Film Institute (BFI) released a 3 Disc Blu-ray box set to celebrate fifty years since the first transmission of the BBC's 'Play for Today'. David Archibald has written an accompanying essay for the two Peter McDougall plays which appear in volume 2 of the set. Archibald's piece is a retrospective on a way of life and the art it produced -in special arrangement with the BFI we bring the essay to The Drouth readers' attention.