Friday, 26 April 2013

Lennon's On Sale Again

Ian Hart has played John Lennon three times now

The Hours and Times, 1991

Backbeat, 1994

Snodgrass, 2013

The latter appeared on Sky Arts excellent Playhouse Presents last night, and what a gem it was. Written by David Quantick and based on a novella by Ian R Macleod it is set in an alternate 1991 in which a 50 year old John Lennon, who left The Beatles on the cusp of fame in 1962, is eking out a living sponging of his young landlady and working as the oldest office junior in town. His sardonic acid tongued quips, without the fame and the adoring audience, are just sad old Dad jokes met with derision and irritation. Indeed, he cuts a rather pathetic bitter figure wandering a grey looking Birmingham with the weight of what might have been upon his shoulders and a burning resentment towards Paul McCartney. Yet this is a reality where The Beatles never quite made it, they tour their wares on the nostalgia circuit having never made it as big as The Hollies. But Paul still wrote Mull Of Kintyre, unfortunately! It was a stunning half hour (that was my one criticism, it was too short and felt truncated; an hour would have been much better) and possibly Hart's best interpretation of the man, and less perhaps of the legend.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, a good little piece (though I don't follow drama/fiction enough to profess authority/expertise) with a welcome touch of hope at the end.

    MacLeod's own stuff looks good too.