Maureen has been faithfully attending the slimmers' club for months. Now the weeks of endless crispbreads have paid off - but is her optimism misplaced?

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
Julie
...
Maureen
Paul Seed ...
Tony
Rosemary Williams ...
Madge
Freddie Fletcher ...
Tim
Mike Kelly ...
Ken
Christopher Godwin ...
Barman
Peter Martin ...
Les Dickey
Jill Summers ...
Attendant
Roger Brierley ...
A.J. Germany
Patricia Roe ...
Evelyn (as Pat Roe)
Johnnie Tweed ...
Accountant (as Johnny Tweed)
The Square Pegs ...
Businessmen Quartet
Rebecca Storm ...
Tina
Bert Oxley ...
Taxi Driver
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Maureen has been faithfully going to the slimmers' club for months. And today the weeks of endless crispbread sandwiches have paid off. Maureen reached her target weight and is ready to receive her certificate and medal. But before leaving the club she is warned by the chorus of ladies not to get too cocky about her triumph. Written by Anonymous

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Drama

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1 June 1980 (UK)  »

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Follows Screenplay: Talent (1979) See more »

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One Night in a Seedy Hotel
22 December 2015 | by (London) – See all my reviews

Victoria Wood's second entry for Granada Television's SCREENPLAY series has her returning as Maureen with Julie Walters as Julie. Together they decide to embark on a "night out": Maureen is determined to get laid as a reward for having met her slimming target for the month, while Julie looks for a good time to compensate for the unfortunate death of her fiancé in a car accident.

They fetch up at a seedy hotel where a conference is in full swing. Sitting in a bar amongst a gaggle of be-suited businessmen, they have ample opportunity to choose any one they wish, and to retire to their hotel rooms. As usual, however, things do not quite go according to plan ...

NEARLY A HAPPY ENDING is a play redolent of the pre-AIDS era when one-night stands were de rigueur for men and women alike. Julie and Maureen seem perfectly happy to accept their role as sex-objects, while the men assume automatically that they are sexy enough to warrant the girls' interest in them. There is something faintly nauseating about such behavior; we always knew it went on, but wonder whether we need to be reminded of it.

Nonetheless, Baz Taylor's production contains several incidental pleasures. There is a wonderful a cappella number from The Square Pegs in praise (or should it be in criticism) of the businessman's life, and Jill Summers - later to appear as Phyllis Pearce in CORONATION STREET - has a memorable cameo as a bathroom attendant.

There are sequences set in a women's slimming-club, with a full musical production number in praise of Maureen's achievement. The leader Madge (Rosemary Williams) has all the false bonhomie characteristic of Matt Lucas's slimming-instructor in LITTLE Britain; it's clear she despises her customers, even while they struggle to refrain from eating chocolates and try crisp-bread sandwiches instead.

NEARLY A HAPPY ENDING ends with the two protagonists going off their separate ways; neither of them have achieved their sexual objectives, but at least their virtue (such as it is) remains intact.


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