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Extra info for Jack Rosenthal
In these instances from the Blackpool episode of Coronation Street intra-diegetic humour is used to deflect sexual jealousy about the past. In Rosenthal’s subsequent writing the war continues to signify uncomfortable sexuality. The schoolteacher Miss Land in P’tang, Yang, Kipperbang (1982) fends off unwelcome memories of illicit romance in conversation with the headmaster: ‘I thought we both agreed to draw a veil over the war, Henry. ’ Miss Land is described as ‘squirming uncomfortably’ during this dialogue with her former married lover, and such regret is an alternative way in which Rosenthal represents the war.
The setting of the play on a Sunday inspires Eric to remind the football players of the day’s other, religious associations. ‘You’ll spend next Sunday morning in church – for the first time in your lives’, he tells two quarrelsome players. In a version of Norman and Sadie’s disenchantment with the modern world in Rosenthal’s 1975 situation comedy Sadie, It’s Cold Outside, Eric bemoans the state of football as the avatar of modern life. ’ Eric is a footballer manqué, and this adds to his disenchanted view of game and life, as he argues to the Depot team captain Gordon (Gordon McCrae): eric: Why do you think I turned to refereeing?
A. A. was directed by Michael Apted for Granada and shown on ITV’s Saturday Night Theatre on 9 January 1972. It went on to win the TV Critics’ Best Play Award for that year. Some reviews, for instance that in The Times,10 implied that its plot was overly limited – which is ironic, considering that, as we shall see, Rosenthal set out to reduce the play in various drafts to a spare version of its earlier, more baroque self. The final version concerns a Sunday morning Collyhurst and District Third Division League Match between football teams CWS Albion 2nd XI and Parker Street Bus Depot, as seen from the viewpoint of the referee Eric Armistead (David Swift).