Saturday, September 19, 2009

Mike Stott 1944-2009

Playwright and scriptwriter Mike Stott has died at the age of 65. He wrote stage plays including Funny Peculiar and Ducking Out, TV scripts including Pickersgill People and radio plays and series including Bunn & Co.

There is tribute in The Guardian from Mike Leigh, alongside an obituary by Michael Coveney.
He was best known for one of the most uproariously funny plays of the last half century, Funny Peculiar (capsule summary: "fellatio in the Pennines"), which premiered in a German production in 1973 at the Bochum Schauspielhaus, where the director Peter Zadek was in charge, before storming the Liverpool Everyman in 1975 and then the Mermaid Theatre and the Garrick in London the following year. The play gave riotous expression to Stott's main comic theme, both absurd and liberating – the idea that the permissive society might penetrate the outer reaches of northern, provincial humdrum existence.

No one who saw the 1975 production, directed by Alan Dossor, will forget the sight of Richard Beckinsale as the sexually inquisitive grocer Trevor Tinsley, having fallen into his own cellar while pursued by a village widow, being lovingly serviced under the bedclothes by his wife (played by Julie Walters) while trussed up like a plaster-cast chicken in hospital.

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