Tag Archives: drama

Tell your friends to watch Windrush drama Sitting in Limbo – it’s more than the BBC will do!

The Empire Windrush brought many people to the UK to help rebuild the country after World War II. If it had still been in service a couple of years ago, the Tories would have been trying to use it to deport them all again.

Did you know the BBC is screening a drama based on the “Windrush generation” racism scandal?

It’s on this evening (Monday, June 8, 2020), starting at 8.30pm and the BBC appears to have done its best not to promote it in any way.

Make up your own mind on what that says about the BBC’s relationship with the Conservative government, whose racism is likely to be a major story element.

And make up your own mind on whether the Corporation’s reticence has anything to do with the death of George Floyd in the United States, and protests in support of people of colour that have taken place in the UK since it happened, culminating in the removal and sinking of Edward Colston’s statue in Bristol yesterday (June 7).

Fortunately, Radio Times at least mentions the play. It says:

Sitting in Limbo could hardly be more timely. Arriving at an extraordinary moment in history as the Black Lives Matter movement grows and as protests take place around the world, this feature-length BBC One drama shines the spotlight on the painful, raw and recent Windrush scandal.

Starring Patrick Robinson and written by Stephen S. Thompson,  the factual drama is based on the real-life experiences of a Jamaican-born British man whose life was upended when the Home Office decided that he was actually here illegally.

Anthony has lived in the UK since he was eight years old, but when he decided to obtain a passport and visit his elderly mother in Jamaica, he learnt that there was no record of him as a British citizen. The onus was now on him to prove his citizenship to the Home Office.

Unable to claim his benefits and forced to leave his job, Anthony was left in limbo. He was later forcibly removed from his home and detained as an illegal immigrant, placing his story at the heart of the Windrush immigration scandal, which saw a government crackdown on the children of the “Windrush generation,” who unlike their parents often travelled without their own documents.

Thompson said: “Like everyone caught up in the Windrush scandal, Anthony has been severely traumatised by the experience. It has badly affected his confidence and left him questioning his very identity. As his brother, I saw what he went through first-hand. I couldn’t bear the idea that he had suffered in vain and it made me determined to tell his story. For me, this is personal.”

Source: Sitting in Limbo – BBC One Windrush scandal drama | cast, air date, what it’s about – Radio Times

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Nazi murders of disabled people are highlighted in TV drama. Does it remind you of something?

The Nazis started by killing disabled people too: and now a TV drama has reminded us all of that fact.

All art is quite useless, according to Oscar Wilde. But sometimes it reflects life – uncomfortably, for some.

That may have been the case today (October 13) with the broadcast of this week’s episode of World on Fire by the BBC.

One of the main themes of the episode was Nazi Germany’s bureaucratic programme to engineer the murder of that nation’s disabled people – most particularly children – in a huge, and hugely immoral, experiment in eugenics (removing elements the government considers to be undesirable from the human gene pool).

In the story, a young German girl is shown to be suffering from epilepsy. Her parents tell an American radio reporter that they do not want this to become known to the authorities, so she researches the reasons – and finds out that parents of children with disabilities receive letters from the government asking them to send their child for “treatment”. If they refuse to do so, a second letter is sent, with explicit reminders of the child’s condition and a repeated request that they be sent for “treatment”. If a third letter becomes necessary, it threatens to remove the parents to a “work camp” nearby if they do not comply.

But the reporter discovers that there is no treatment. The children are murdered and the parents are given a flimsy excuse for the death and an expression of regret.

This treatment of children may be likened to the way the UK’s current Tory government treats all disabled people who rely on state benefits for survival.

Sure, there are surface differences. The German example refers to children and in the UK, adults are affected. And the Nazi government behaved proactively, stating that it was carrying out an initiative about disabled people, while the Tories have been deliberately withdrawing from action, denying the existence of people’s disabilities.

It seems they have learned from the Nazis and have arranged a way of eliminating people with disabilities that gives them plausible deniability. Whenever a news report discusses the death of a person with obvious disabilities whose benefit had been denied or cancelled by the Tories, the Department for Work and Pensions issues a statement to the effect that any death is regrettable but the circumstances are complex and the withdrawal of benefit must not be considered the cause.

More disabled benefit claimants have died in the UK under Tory rule since 2010 than the Germans managed to murder between 1933 and 1945.

The deaths, and denials, continue to this day.

We should welcome the fact that this TV drama has the courage to spotlight their historic precedent. Why are we tolerating a government that has taken a leaf from the Nazi book?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

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Socially relevant dramas like Love should not be restricted to the big cities

‘Filled with observant compassion’ … Janet Etuk as Emma and Nick Holder as Colin in Love [Image: Sarah Lee for The Guardian].


It is very good that plays like Love are appearing, because they use the art form to encourage people to confront the realities of living in modern Britain and voting for a strongly right-wing Conservative government.

This Writer has made the point several times before, and I have been encouraged by friends locally to try my own hand at it – although whether any such piece would ever get to the stage is debatable; I simply don’t have the contacts.

So I welcome the arrival of shows like Love.

My one problem with it is that it will only appear in London and Birmingham.

The huge impact of I, Daniel Blake is due, not just to the fact that the film won a major award in Cannes, but to its availability – people across the UK (although admittedly not yet in Mid Wales) have been able to see it.

They should also have the opportunity to see this new drama about homelessness. When can we expect the national tour? Can we at least have a video link of a performance to other theatres?

Here are a few reasons we should be able to see this play:

It is filled with observant compassion but at first I found myself craving more political anger. Only later did I grasp that Zeldin leaves it to us to supply the appropriate rage.

Meals are cooked. People compete for access to the one toilet. In the most touching scene, Colin washes his mother’s hair at the sink in Fairy liquid.

While Zeldin shows rather than tells, he makes the point that these people have done nothing wrong: they are simply victims of a dearth of social housing and arbitrary caps to the benefit system.

They are also made to suffer needlessly. Colin waits five hours for a five-minute appointment, only to be told there is nowhere for his mum and him to go. Dean has had his benefits cut for just missing a jobcentre date, on the day he and his family were evicted.

Zeldin is not alone in drawing attention to the cracks in the welfare system. Cardboard Citizens have for 25 years made theatre with and for homeless people. Ken Loach in Cathy Come Home and I, Daniel Blake ignited our anger at injustice. Anders Lustgarten in The Seven Acts of Mercy makes high drama out of forced deprivation. But Zeldin’s particular achievement is to show people’s capacity for endurance. Tempers may flare and tensions rise, but his play is both about the dignity and the love that survive even in the harshest circumstances.

At the end, the house rose to the actors. But our gorges should also rise at the play’s potent reminder that we live in a rich country that treats poverty as if it were a crime.

This play cannot make us angry if we cannot see it. So let’s have a tour – or a TV adaptation. How about it?

Source: Love review – engrossing homelessness drama leaves us enraged | Stage | The Guardian

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