DAVID HAYMAN FEATURE
, work. a
Rather stay at home and have a wank.’
lt’s unlikely that Hayman’s latest television three-part adaptation of Carol Clewlow’s A Woman ’s Guide To Adultery will leave its audience uninvolved. With a cast that includes Sean Bean. Amanda Donohoe and
Theresa Russell. it’s far more likely to send a
warm thrill through winter-chilled bodies — all the more so given its subject matter. as the director explains: ‘lt follows four women through the moral line that. if a woman screws a married man. she’s taking him away from another woman. but if a tall. dark. handsome beast walks in and wants to shag the arse off you. you’re in the horns of a moral dilemma.’ Not a classic Hollywood 3()-second pitch. but. he continues: ‘lt’s not about people jumping into bed with one another. it’s about the repercus- sions of that on family and friends and the community that one is part of. Hopefully, as any drama does at its best, it will provoke some kind of reaction or debate
‘I never ask an actor to do anything I haven’t done or wouldn’t be prepared to do
myself, and they know that, so they can’t pull the wool over my eyes.’
Demolition woman: Helen erren contemplates her wrecked marriage.
about the morality or immorality of screwing around. It’s a compulsive piece of viewing with a brilliant cast. really shit-hot performances.’
No false modesty here. but neither is there an arrogance: more a straight-dealing. honest approach from a 43-year-old former Steelworker who is as far from the bright troupe of theatrical luvvies as they come. He’s a man whose art has a purpose. ‘l’ve never wanted, whether as an actor or a director. for an audience to come in. sit down in a darkened room and feel comfortable. I want the world to be a different place when they walk out ofthere. That’s myjob as an artist in society. I’m lucky enough to be on the fringes of it; we’re the vagabonds. we can look back and comment on it. in the sense that we can be provocative. That’s our job. otherwise we’re just pure entertain- ers and we may as well stand up and do music hall.’ 0
A Woman '3 Guide To Adultery begins on 29 November at 9pm on Scottish. The Hawk goes on general release on Friday 3 December.
Heart of the matter
Never one to stand still for long, David Hayman is currently working on a new BBC series, Cardiac Arrest.
or the first time in ages, there is activity in Ward 29 of Glasgow’s Stobhill Hospital. White coats move through normally deserted corridors in a remote comer of the distinctive red-brick complex. However, this isn’t a case of the government giving a money transfusion to the HHS and re-opening a ward that cuts had shut down - far from it. The future of Stobhill as a whole is on shaky ground. The intricate machinery beside the hospital beds isn’t there to save lives, but to shoot Cardiac Arrest, a new six-part serial produced by Island World for BBC Television. Directed by David Hayman from a script by John Macllre, and produced by Paddy Higson and Margaret Matheson, this isn’t exactly the caring side of the medical profession that we’re used to seeing on the box.
‘cardlac Arrest is a severe and savage indictment of the National Health Service under the Tories,’ says Hayman, ‘Decause over the last fourteen years they’ve destroyed it. What we get on television is Casualty, where the medical staff are compassionate and are determined to save lives and, if they don’t they’re upset by it. The reality is completely different. You’ve got 22- year-old kids who are just out of medical school and are thrown onto the wards with barely a minimum of training. They work 100 hours a week, they’re completely and utterly fucked, they’re alcoholics, they’re drug addicts, they’re shagging in the laundry cupboard, and they’re pulling the plug on patients because they cannot possibly keep them alive. You can’t look death in the face every single day, knowing that you are in part responsible for that death and still be a normal being.’
The series, which began its six-week shoot at Stobhill on 18 October, has given Hayman the chance to work in Scotland again for the first time in years. He’s happiest working north of the border, not only because his family lives here, but because he finds Scottish crews better to work with. ‘There’s a spirit and a common humanity that you don’t get anywhere else.’ he explains. ‘And there’s a shared politic to the way people are treated up here, which is very important because it’s teamwork. It’s not a one-man band. But I work in England or elsewhere eleven months of the year because it’s very difficult to get the finance to do the films that I want to do in Scotland, because people don’t see them as viable propositions.’
Back down on the set, Hayman is setting up his next shot, guiding four actors through a rehearsal. A woman and her daughter are beside the bed of her husband, an ashen-faced man who looks like he’s got one foot in the grave, the other one on a banana skin. The woman thanks a young doctor for all the help he’s given them. Eamestly, the medic leans towards the patient and gently touches his arm.
‘We’ll do everything we can, Albert,’ he f whispers. ‘I promise.’ ;
‘He’s lying, Albert,’ chuckles Hayman. ‘Dnce your wife’s gone, he’s going to kill you.’
The List l9 November—2 December 1993 9