Silent Night (1990– )

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25 April 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This short adaptation of Berkoff's monologue play, 'Harry's Christmas', was only ever shown on TV once, I think, shortly after it was made. A pity.

We meet Harry, a lonely and bitter man, spending Christmas Day alone, with just a few cards for company (mainly from previous years to fool himself he still has people who care about him). He rails against the cosy companionship of families and friends at the festive season, maintaining he couldn't care less about being with people. Soon we get to know about Clara, the girlfriend who abandoned him, and in a dream sequence, Clara appears and turns around his life, bringing him with a snap out of the depression that threatened to engulf him.

In thirty minutes, Berkoff manages to take the viewer on an emotionally exhausting trip through Harry's perceptions, and this alone makes this play almost the antithesis of the accepted meaning of Christmas. It is extremely well-done and memorable.

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