‘IT'S NICE TO SEE A WOMEN-DRIVEN PIECE, EVEN IF THEY'RE HAVING TO PUT UP WITH ALL THIS SHIT FROM BAD MEN'
and it's thee to see sniiiethiiig like that nii teley isinn that's still a period di‘aitia‘. espeetall) lot” the Ill“
Steele. whn is iinw eniiiiiig In the end of tiliiiiiig the llL‘\l \L'l'lL‘\ till .l/itilin'i /1 l‘L'litl't' \llL‘ \lgtl'l\ l't‘llt‘ttl'\ttl\ lll Illk' 'l'ra\erse 'l'heatre‘s i'eyixal of John llyi'ne's Vii/i Hi'\\ trilogy. is w ellikiinw n tnr her portrayals of plueky \yiii'kiiig»e|;iss w est enasters. .\s well as |.e\ie. the kiteheii g‘ll'l IIIIItIL‘ giiiitl lll ,l/rillitl'i II. \IIL'.\ llll‘llL‘tl lll It‘l\l_\ t'tilL‘\ Ill Iii/Mel lint II. i/i/lt’ lh'l’l ( 'f’//('( [HI' Itlltl (il't'g'itﬂ .\ llll' (fir/s sinee graduating from (ilasgnw ‘s RS.r\.\ll) tiy e years ago.
She was attraeted In 'l‘lii' Kei heeause nl' its resniianees with her nwii family histnry and. iii partieulai'. its apprnaeh tn se\ual polities. ‘l-rnm my family. it has more to do with my iiaiiaf \lle \;I_\\. ‘She (IULWII‘I gn haek as tar as that. hut she spoke about the (’n-npet'aln e and how it was the women who held it all together. It's niee in see a pieee that is woiiien-driyen eyeii it they're hay ing input tip with all the shit that went with it: the had hushands and men going out drinking. In those days they were just stuek with it. That was your lot.‘
Baek in (inyan. on an iey .\'n\emher day last year. I traek down l)nnna liraneesehild in a l’nrtaeahin on the w astelaiid where the BBC erew has set tip eamp. ‘lt‘ l'd ha\e known I was going In do something this big I don't think l would ha\ e had the guts In do it.' she say s. reeling nt'l‘ the \arinus years when the lilm takes plaee. ‘llut it heeaine more aiiihitinus at eaeh landmark and eyeiitually you reaeh a point of no return and say: “Well. I‘m going In lllsl \\l'llL‘ lllisﬁ.‘
She qtiiekly realised that dealing with historieal material was a enmple\ husiness. ‘li\ery time you make a ehoiee tor a eharaeter like. this guy will he an old eniiiiiiuiiist shop steward who ends tip heiiig disabled in a shipbuilding aeeident ynu‘y e got In lind out more ahniit the (‘nmmuiiist l’ai‘ty. ahotit shiphtiildiiig. and about what sort nl aeeidents they had.‘
That was douth the ease l‘nr l‘raneesehild who. heing horn in the ISA. knew her .-\meriean lahntir history hetter thaii her British. She's li\ed here siiiee l‘)75. so the 'l'hateher years were no problem. hiit it was an eiijnyahle ehallenge to swnt tip on what went on here helni‘e that. 'l'm l‘aseinated with the relationship hetween the personal and pnlitieal.’ she says. 'll‘ you look haek on anyhody's tamily. rieh or poor. you will find written on that family the history of their time. How ean it not he'.’ People don‘t li\e outside their own history. l’nlities only interests me as it is t‘nrmed in the erueihle nt' people's real e\perienee.'
hi this. liraneesehild has no truck with the kings-and- queens type history they spnnned out to tis at sehnnl. "l‘here's \ery little relerenee in The Key to major ligtireheads at the time heeause I'm interested in what popular e\perienee was during those times nl' huge llpllCUHllI the liirst World War. the post-war period where laseisiii took hold. the Seennd World War. the founding of the w ellat'e state. the boom ot the 50s followed by the slump. the rise and fall of trade unionism . . . '
('ontrary to the mood of the times she‘s unashamedly left-wing. hut is too mueh ot' a dramatist — not to mention a humanist — tn resort to ertide agitprnp. The Key wears its heart on its sleeve. but it's not simplistie and makes engaging and at't’eeting drama. ‘My work is informed by what I believe politically. but what I believe politically eomes otit of something else.. she says. 'I didn't go to tiniyersity and suddenly piek my polities the way you'd piek what jeans you were going to wear. I don't want The Key to tell people what to think. I want T/It’ Key to remind people that we eame from somewhere. that our experienee is not outside of history. it is part ot‘ an ever- unfolding human drama. \Ve ean eyolye otirselyes. We are not pow ei'less.’
The Key starts on BBC2, Tue 16 Sep.
They say there are no great telly shows with women at their heart. The Key is changing all that. And so did this little lot.
'Once upon a time . . .' and all that. They may have been gtiided by a disembodied voice belonging tO a man who spent much of his time manhandling Linda Evans' sh0ulder pads. But when those three little girls got Out on their own. they were nobody's fools.
So women aren't funny, eh? Jennifer and Joanna (along With Julia. Jane and June) hit the J- spot and tickled the funny bone Wllll this revolutionary look at dypso PR execs.
After the hype and hangovers had faded after This; Life. Daniela Nardini got serious-ish Wllll this adaptation of Fay Weldon's tale of women in publishing rather loosely based on the Success of Virago. Loose being the operative term.
Sex and the City
Tired of men banging on about birds and their bodies. it was a refreshing change to hear filth whipped up by female tongues. Laid in Manhattan? We think so.
'./, THE LIST 13