Play for Today: Season 5, Episode 12

Sunset Across the Bay (20 Feb. 1975)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 49 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 1 critic

A married couple, after a life time of work and bringing up a family, retire and awaken to the fast changing world around them, the habitual nature of their relationship, and what they have left.

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Title: Sunset Across the Bay (20 Feb 1975)

Sunset Across the Bay (20 Feb 1975) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Gabrielle Daye ...
Mam
Harry Markham ...
Dad
...
Bertram
Christine Buckley ...
Woman in flats
Bill Pilkington ...
Woman's husband
Elizabeth Dawn ...
Canteen Lady
Peter Wallis ...
Gatekeeper
...
Removal Man
Joe Belcher ...
Workman
Albert Modley ...
Arthur
Betty Alberge ...
Mrs Longstaff
Marjorie Sudell ...
Newsagent
Clifford Kershaw ...
First Man in teabar
Joe Kenyon ...
Second Man in teabar
...
Milkman
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Storyline

A married couple, after a life time of work and bringing up a family, retire and awaken to the fast changing world around them, the habitual nature of their relationship, and what they have left.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Drama

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Release Date:

20 February 1975 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Featured in Alan Bennett at 80: Bennett Meets Hytner (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Beautifully sad and poignant
1 October 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I agree with the previous writer who said what a beautiful story this is. It is poignantly sad, with a nostalgic feel about the whole thing, not least in the setting - a decaying British seaside resort in the mid '70s. But what I cannot agree with is that the couple are still "very happy" with each other. On the contrary, I think one of the saddest things about the play is that they are clearly incredibly, almost intolerably BORED with each other. Yes, they have got used to being together, but that is part of the trouble. The lady has managed to convince herself that all is fine, because she has to believe it or what would have been the point of her life? - but the man's irritation is constantly bubbling under the surface of his old-fashioned decency and courtesy. In my opinion, Bennett has hit on one of the sad truths of human life: that a large number of people who stay married for decades do it just because there is literally nothing else to do.

A marvellous play for all kinds of reasons. But try not to take it merely at face value - there are numerous side issues such as the one I mentioned above. I just wish this kind of play was written nowadays, but sadly, good playwriting seems a lost art. The BBC's "Play For Today" was superb - now we have to endure Trinny and Susannah telling us what clothes to wear.


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