Jarrow-born Alan Plater was one of Britain’s most cherished playwrights. Equally at home either adapting existing works or crafting his own stories, the pinnacle of his prolific output is arguably the highly successful Beiderbecke trilogy starring James Bolam and Barbara Flynn. Plater excelled in the creation of credible, engagingly ordinary characters embroiled in drama and intrigue (exemplified in Beiderbecke s jazz-loving Geordie woodwork teacher, Trevor Chaplin); with a dry humour, class consciousness and frequent acknowledgement of the north-south divide, his skilful dialogue has been described as combining ‘The voice of Coronation Street’ with the ‘spirit of Chekhov’. The winner of three BAFTA Awards, he received a CBE in 2005 and the Writers Guild of Great Britain Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. This anthology celebrates the diversity of Alan Plater’s work for ITV, with a collection of single plays and classic episodes featuring outstanding performances by Helen Mirren, Kenneth Branagh, James Bolam, Alison Steadman, Michael Gambon, Dennis Waterman and Ray Brooks, among many others.
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