John Lennon’s voice dripped with bitter irony when he sang that a working-class hero is something to be. In the years immediately preceding The Beatles’ peak, though, British filmgoers were familiar with such figures in a way they would never be again. 1959 fired the starting-gun, as Richard Burton’s bedsit-dwelling, jazz-playing misanthrope stalked through the Derby of Look Back In Anger, and Laurence Harvey destroyed himself and his lover Simone Signoret by trying to crash across the class divide in Room at the Top. A new wave of kitchen-sink realism then introduced a generation of charismatic working-class stars: Albert Finney in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960), Rita Tushingham in A Taste of Honey (1961), Tom Courtenay in The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962), and Richard Harris in This Sporting Life (1963). A working-class actor or writer was certainly something to be then, in a prelude to the working-class, Beatles-led British music … [Read more...] about Whatever happened to the working-class heroes of British film?
Working class hero
He’s back! It’s been a busy few years for Jason Manford since his last smash-hit stand up show, but fans of his Absolute Radio show will know this nationally acclaimed comedian hasn’t changed a bit. ‘Muddle Class’ - coming to the East of England Arena on March 23 - promises to feature a wealth of new material about Jason growing up ‘working class’ then finding, over the years, that part of him has become ‘middle class’ – causing much confusion. Delivered with Jason’s amiable charm and captivating wit, this show is not to be missed. Jason said: “Somebody said to me on my Facebook fan page, ‘it’s been ages since you’ve toured’. I thought ‘no way, it was last year wasn’t it? Anyway, long story short, they were right, it was years ago. I just got fooled cos I’ve been on tour doing musicals and the last tour is repeated on Dave ja Vu 13 times a day! “So I’ve … [Read more...] about ‘Muddle class’ hero Jason Manford coming to Peterborough
David Forrest, University of Sheffield Half a century ago, a working-class writer by the name of Barry Hines wrote a tale of an impoverished boy and the bird he befriends. It’s a simple story with complex themes, which struck a real chord with the Britain of 1968. Adapted into a classic film by Ken Loach the following year, A Kestrel for Knave is about the politics of education, about what, how, and why we learn. It also reminds us that the circumstances of our background determine our life chances – that class matters. Its themes are just as relevant five decades on. For Hines, education was always political: English literature was reading books about people who had been dead for hundreds of years … I wanted to read about a world I could identify, where people had to work for a living. Hines, who was brought up in Barnsley, Yorkshire – in the same neighbourhood his most famous novel was situated – came to books relatively late in his own education. A … [Read more...] about A Kestrel for a Knave gave working-class Britain a voice: it’s needed again now
0 Have your say The daughter of a heroin addict, Sophie Willan grew up in care and now as a comedian tackles areas where others fear to tread. She talks to Yvette Huddleston. One of the brightest new young voices on the British comedy scene, Sophie Willan, is definitely not afraid of taking audiences out of their comfort zone. In her debut show On Record, the Bolton-born stand-up talked frankly about her tough, unconventional childhood growing up with a heroin addict mother and her time in and out of care as a teenager. It got her a Chortle Best Newcomer nomination in 2016 and the show went on to complete a hugely successful nationwide tour and a run at London’s Soho Theatre.In the relatively short time she has been on the circuit, Willan has been receiving rave reviews with one critic describing her as “a truly special talent” and another as “fearless”. With her new show Branded, which received deserved plaudits at last summer’s Edinburgh … [Read more...] about Big interview: Sophie Willan’s fearless working-class comedy
“STATE of you!”, “State of him!”, “State of her!”This is a phrase I encounter a lot on social media, especially the first, I notice, as I get older and balder.And whenever I do, 99 times out of 100 I can be sure of one thing: That the person speaking is one of those sensitive, enlightened, progressive types who claim to hate “personal abuse” and to believe in a “kinder, gentler politics”. Just like their hero Jeremy Corbyn.The key thing about this insult is it doesn’t advance any kind of intelligent argument. Like the T-shirt that apparently sells like hot cakes at Corbyn rallies, the one that quotes Nye Bevan saying Tories are “lower than vermin”, their purpose is to dismiss people you disagree with as being such hateful scum they don’t even count as humans.You could detect exactly this ugly mix of preening superiority and poisonous disdain in the comment posted on social media this week by aspiring … [Read more...] about Hetty Douglas’ ‘1 GCSE’ post demonstrates shameful snob culture of the liberal lefties who hate the working class