Stoopud F**ken Animals
It’s grim down south
This article is from 2007.
The question of origins, where or from whom a person comes, and how people create themselves in connection with this has haunted realist drama since the age of Ibsen. This new piece by Joel Harwood travels down this road pretty comfortably, exploring the lives of a group of working class dysfunctionals from rural Suffolk.
In it two brothers, one an angry man unable to settle in work or relationships, the other slightly mentally handicapped from birth, discover that their ostensible mother is in fact their grandmother, and a quest for their birth mother leads them to uncover a grim family secret. Meanwhile a farmer cum touring folk singer is also estranged from his past. The piece moves along nicely enough, and is well acted by the cast of five, but the kind of territory covered has become a little too familiar, a particular kind of English contemporary drama that might not need much more exploration. Almost inevitably, the piece treats paedophilia as not endorseable, but more complex than the media hysteria that surrounds it might make it seem. The characters’ obsessions, though, with names and the processes of nomenclature, with each having more identities than one, is interesting, and if the mid 80s might seem rather a belated date for moralism about teenage pregnancy, there are, if we let that go, some tense and dramatic moments.
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