Blakeson - Writer

Cardiff-based film, theatre and gig reviews, cultural ramblings, whingeing, short films, etc.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Baker Boys

First outing of 2011 – I was lucky enough to be invited to a B.A.F.T.A. Cymru preview screening of the first episode of Baker Boys, a new three-part series for BBC Wales, co-written by Gary Owen (one of Wales’ most performed playwrights) and Helen (Torchwood, Doctor Who) Raynor. Telling the story of the aftermath of the closure of a large bakery - the only major source of employment in a small Valleys town - it’s inspired by a number of local news stories of the past few years (Ferrari’s Bakery, Burberry, Tower Colliery), as outlined by the authors in the post-screening Q&A session (which also featured contributions from BBC Wales business correspondent Nick Servini and cast-members Boyd Clack and Gareth Jewell), and is firmly rooted in recession-hit blue-collar Britain, although with an optimistic slant. Engaging performances, subtle writing, slick direction, and a general disdain for stereotypes – but bizarrely, it’s scheduled for broadcast only in Wales at the moment, despite its universal theme and the presence of a number of nationally familiar faces (Eve Myles, Mark Lewis Jones, Steven Meo, Cara Readle). This being an era where "quality" drama seems to be defined in terms of either period costume or extreme grimness, Baker Boys, if the clips we saw of episode two are anything to go by, could be unusual in that it has the potential to actually inspire.


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