I was once a weak man
Once a week is enough for any man
Thursday 5th May
It’s 1974 and 8 year old Jo is snuggled up on the settee in her flammable polyester nightie, watching the family’s first colour TV. Eating arctic roll and reading ‘Jackie’ magazine, she is idly glancing at the telly when Sykes comes on. Jo is suddenly riveted. Her spoon slips from her hand, her mouth drops open and her artic roll slips from the plate and on to the floor: hundreds and thousands, a cascade of sugary artificial colourants, rain all over the wool mix carpet. There’ll be hell to pay tomorrow when her mum hoovers the house.
There, on the screen, is a woman unlike anyone Jo has ever seen, a woman unlike anyone else on TV. Jo knows, in that moment, the woman before her is uniquely like the woman she herself will become.
That woman is Hattie Jacques.
Forty years later and Jo is indeed walking in the footsteps of her idol. Despite the uncertainty, the periods of unemployment, the agent who seems to care more about raking in a quick buck than advancing her career, Jo is an actress. But is there a place for her in tv, film or theatre? Why does she only get cast as the nurse, never the surgeon? Why is she always the council estate mum in Casualty with the dodgy kid, the high pony tail and the pack of pitbulls? Why is she too fat to play Lady Macbeth? Why does she have a cupboard full of tabards? Can Hattie help Jo find the answers to this modern mystery? Could it be that nothing has changed for women like Jo since Hattie did Carry On?
Thoughtful, funny, warm and nostalgic, this is an affectionate look at the life and career of a remarkable woman and a witty, caustic look at modern life in show business and its cultural attitudes toward larger women. A world where Simon Russell Beale can play an XXL Hamlet, but lead roles are non-existent for larger actresses.
Thursday, 5th May 2016
Suitable for ages 15+
Running Time: 90 minutes + Interval
Light refreshments served in the interval
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