Queen of Earth (Home) Catherine (brilliantly played by Elizabeth Moss) is on a downward spiral; her father has committed suicide and she has been dumped by her partner. She retreats to stay with her friend Virginia (Katherine Waterson) at her rural home. Looking for support from her friend she just becomes even more anxious and worked up as Virginia spends her time with her new partner. The women become locked in a battle over past and present resentments about their relationship and the way in which both of them have hurt each other. Catherine simmers with anger and frustration as her mental decline seems to verge on murderous intent. Close ups of the two women make this a claustrophobic and chilling film, and you are drawn in and have no idea how it is going to end. I think many women can empathise with Catherine and Virginia over the way in which friendships can be supplanted by the love of men.
To a new play “Like there is no one Looking” by Elaine McCann and performed by Barton Theatre Company. Its great to see a local, Eccles, amateur theatre company taking part in drama festivals such as Greater Manchester Fringe Festival. The play takes as its theme a very important subject- dementia- showing how music can be used as a therapy to bring back forgotten happy memories of the past. Catch it 4/5 July at The Albert Square Chop House at 8pm. Further dates see
Listen to playwright Elaine McCann talk about her play on Salford City Radio see
Respectable The Experience of Class by Lynsey Hanley. Great to read a book about class by a woman from a working class background! Lynsey grew up on a council estate in Birmingham, the only child of a father who was a white collar worker and her mum who was a housewife. Loved the stories of Lynsey at 8 years old reading the Mirror before she went to school! In this book she explores a working class community that is more complex than the usual sterotype; one where people read books, watch documentaries on television and have views about the world. It is essentially her story and as she admits; she was privileged because she is an only child with all the advantages that gave her of her parents’ time and money. In the book she uses her own experiences of growing up in a working class area to show how class does destroy peoples hopes and dreams for a better future. And how being middleclass does give people an entry into education and a more secure future. She provides lots of evidence of that from her own observations as well as many studies, historical and modern.
For me coming from a similar background but an Irish one (and an aspirational community with a large extended family) I can relate to and agree with much of the book. But although I followed a similar path from council estate to professional job, I do not feel her sense of alienation from her class or background. The difference is, not class in the end, its about how you see yourself and what you do. I have always been an activist ; in my trade union, in the Irish community organisation and in various single issue campaigns from CND to abortion. Missing from this book are the words; trade union. I presume she is in one?? UCU if she is working at a university?? Maybe on strike over pay and conditions? Missing also from the book is the history of the working classes involvement in radical organisations and the many women and men who have fought for a better life for their children and wider society . She needs to read Northern ReSisters conversations with Radical Women. And, much as I did enjoy the book, unfortunately it is one for the middle classes again.Reinforcing an ideal that working class people should be aping a middleclass lifestyle rather than looking for happiness in a community that recognises and values a lifestyle that doesn’t put university, accumulating wealth and snobbery at the centre of society.
To everyone who thinks that the EU referendum result last Thursday is not acceptable because it didn’t give them a remain result and that we need another referendum ..…………
The Solution by Bertolt Brecht (1953)
The Secretary of the Authors’ Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Which said that the people
Had forfeited the government’s confidence
And could only win it back
By redoubled labour. Wouldn’t it
Be simpler in that case if the government
Dissolved the people and