Past, present and future shows from Absolutely.
By Marcella Evaristi
...If It's Wednesday, It Must Be Holloway...
David Tennant and Sarah Alexander star alongside two big stars of the future in an exciting, original and hilarious new 4 part Comedy Drama coming to BBC Radio 4, starting 11:30am Friday 6th May.
Written by award winning writer Marcella Evaristi, set in North London, and featuring two lead characters aged 14 and 10, the production team that produced four hugely successful series of the critically acclaimed Radio 4 comedy drama "Baggage", return to the 11:30am slot with a new and innovative show.
The Gobetweenies looks at contemporary family life through the prism of two north London siblings who schlep with varying degrees of enthusiasm between their divorced parents' homes --- Mum's comfy Highgate house and Dad's new rackety rental on the Holloway Road.
Who are The Gobetweenies?
Fourteen year old Lucy (Phoebe Alexander) and ten year old Tom (Finlay Christie). They are delighted to have their dad (on his third divorce) back living nearby --- he had unhappily turned into a Once a Fortnight Father, devoted but lived too far way to be part of the rhythm of their days.
Now their Mum's curtains are thicker than the walls in their Dad's new flat. Lucy feels uncompensated for the hassle of moving house once a week. Tom has survived bullying in his last school and is overjoyed to have his dad properly back. Tom is also useful for carrying all of Lucy's clobber as she points out the fetish shops and tattoo parlours and other landmarks of their new half-week, Holloway Road, home.
The Parents? Their mother Mimi (Sarah Alexander), a nervy ex-Beckett scholar turned successful children‟s writer, who is just settling into her third and extremely happy marriage has concerns about the split lives they are about to impose on their kids.
But where Mimi has found herself it looks like Joe (David Tennant) has mislaid himself again. This once shiny star of the New York art scene is floundering - a third marriage to a Parisian designer has turned as chilly as a French Smeg - so he's heading back to share his kids with his very first wife. She is all fulfilled and he's in recovery and they are both so much wiser than the kids they were when they first met.
She and Joe are determined like so many divorced parents that their marital failures will not getting the way of good parenting. But when did parenting become this complicated thing? and how do the kids negotiate the dynamics of their determinedly hands-on divorced mum and dad?
So To Sum Up...
Mimi goes to Yoga for Anxiety, Tom sees a therapist, Joe is in recovery, and Lucy reminds everyone that her relationship with her best friend Katie has lasted longer than any of her parents‟ marriages.
If It’s Wednesday It Must Be Holloway
The Gobetweenies is set in Arty North London where you have to watch what you say in the school playground or you will end up as columnists' fodder.
Careless Talk Pays Journalists Mortgages.
Arty North London... where the children of the divorced are constantly losing the keys to the other place and the key cutters make a fortune from the adultery fallout.
Arty North London... where on Christmas day you can see kids waddling through the streets full of their second turkey dinner like kindergarten fois gras.
Arty North London... where the guilty divorced are doing their desperate best not to believe those terrible statistics that prophecy the worst for their children. Such a waste after all those careful years of organic butternut squash puree and Mozart played to their pregnant tummies.
The terrible question "What have we done to them?" that comes in the night, is transformed in the day to brave declarations of childrens' resilience and the hope that love will carry them all through.
Cast for all episodes:
Joe - David Tennant
Mimi - Sarah Alexander
Tom - Finlay Christie
Lucy - Phoebe Abbott
Episode One: Meet the Millars
TX: 11:30 Friday 6th May 2011
Lucy is excited about exploring surrealism, Tom is obsessively counting sultanas and their mum Mimi is desperate for her third attempt at married life to get started --- but the children‟s father Joe has come to a decision that will changes their all their lives . . .
Harry - Stuart Milligan
Episode Two: Sniffing Stevie and the Gym Horse
TX: 11:30am, 13th May 2011
Tom feels guilty about not wanting to befriend a boy with a permanent snot bubble, and his parents' mixed messages don't help, meanwhile a visit to a tattoo parlour gives Lucy a great idea about getting some attention – and Joe finds a new job.
Stevie - Ben Baker
Bobby - Stephen Critchlow
Ms Smart - Morwenna Banks
Donald - Gordon Kennedy
Episode Three: Commendation and Competition
TX 11:30am Friday 20th May, 2011
After Lucy's success in the art class she is keen to attend her dad's current exhibition, but Joe has just started work as a painter and decorator and weirdly doesn't want to go. Meanwhile Mimi is stuck as usual with snide Helen, the conniving mother of Lucy's best pal. So why is Helen pretending to find Tom's lame jokes such a hoot?
Katy - Ophelia Davidson
Helen - Tracey-Ann Oberman
Headteacher - Gordon Kennedy
Episode Four: Befriending Freddie
TX: 11:30am Friday 27th May 2011
Mimi is desperate to bring the kids to New York for the premiere of her new husband's play but Tom has made a new best friend and wants to stay home and Lucy is refusing to miss her bf's birthday party. Mimi and Joe do mutually supportive shared parenting --- so her ex is bound to back her up isn't he?
Freddie - Oli Dillon
Jennifer - Emily Bruni
Marcella Evaristi: Creator and Writer of Go-Betweenies
Sitcom began with families. It's the place where your isolation first took shape and it's your first social unit --- and when we are all grown up ourselves we plaster the effects of our own childhood all over our kids like sunblock.
My children are grown-up now but they used to move house every Wednesday... The most traditional family set up has built in tensions, but for divorced families the tensions can be crazy. You've got to watch for damage! You have to be scrupulously fair. You have to ignore what you overheard! And your children become potential inhouse spies...
You've got to put aside past grievances and become united parents living in separate addresses --- antonymous yet connected by blood and bones, histories and promises to do the best by the kids. How are other people managing it? (You think you don't care? Liar liar pants on fire.)
Key Cast and Crew
David Tennant (Joe)
... is best known for his three seasons starring in the BBC's "Doctor Who" – and was voted by the fans as the Best Doctor in the long history of the show. Tennant‟s many film roles include the forthcoming Fright Night and The Decoy Bride, as well as Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, St. Trinian‟s II: The Legend of Fritton's Gold, Glorious 39, Bright Young Things, LA Without a Map, and Jude, among others. He also voiced a role in How to Train Your Dragon. His television work includes the BBC‟s forthcoming “United” as well as “Hamlet,” “Einstein and Eddington,” “Learners,” “Recovery,” “Secret Smile,” “Casanova,” and “Blackpool,” among many others. On the stage, he has starred in “Hamlet,” “Love‟s Labour‟s Lost,” “Look Back in Anger,” “The Pillowman,” and many other productions. He will soon be appearing with Catherine Tate in "Much Ado about Nothing" at the Wyndhams Theatre.
Sarah Alexander (Mimi)
... is perhaps best known to television audiences for playing Susan Walker for four seasons on the hit show Coupling. She has also starred in such award-winning series as The Worst Week of my Life, Armstrong & Miller, Smack the Pony, and Green Wing.
Her film credits include: Matthew Vaughn's Stardust, Amy Heckerling's I Could Never Be Your Woman, Going Off Big Time; The New Adventures of Pinocchio; Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (Michael Bogdanov); Princess and Sea View Nights.
Other television credits include: All The Small Things (BBC), Mutual Friends (BBC), Dr Terrible's House of Horrible: Voodoo Feet of Death; People Like Us; Midsomer Murders; The Eleven O'Clock Show (Channel 4); The Strangerers (Sky); Catherine Cookson's Tilly Trotter; Red Dwarf; Smith and Jones (two series) and Drop the Dead Donkey.
Theatre includes: The Vagina Monologues (New Ambassadors Theatre); Hand in Hand (Hampstead Theatre); The Secretary Bird (Far East Tour); Northanger Abbey (Queens, Hornchurch); Lady Macbeth in MacBeth (Gateway, Chester).
Finlay Christie (Tom)
Finlay, aged 11, has worked on the BBC animated series Waybuloo, as the voice of Yojojo since 2008. He has also been performing as a standup with the Comedy Club for Kids since he was seven, mostly at the Soho Theatre Dean Street but also the London Comedy Store, The Newport Arts Theatre and the 2009 Soho Festival. When he is supposed to be not doing his school work he is littering the internet with vlogs and YouTube videos (Google Finlay Christie for further details). His ideal future involves partnering up with other comedians to write and perform comedy sketches.
Phoebe Abbott (Lucy)
...is a talented young actress best known for her characters in The School of Comedy series 1 and 2 for Left Bank Pictures. She has appeared in a number of short films, including „Monsters and Rabbits‟ for the UK Film Council. Radio credits include „The Go-Betweenies‟ by Marcella Evaristi playing lead role of Lucy (Radio 4). Phoebe is a versatile actress who is passionate about acting, a highly skilled comedienne with a bright future ahead!
Award winning Scots Italian writer of wit and style, with an unerring flair for comedy and clever wry insights into the often ludicrous, sometimes absurd nature of twenty first century relationships. Previous award winning productions include Dorothy and the Bitch, Edinburgh, Scotia's Darlings, , Edinburgh, Sugar and Spite (revue with Liz Lochhead, , Edinburgh, Mouthpieces (revue) Crawford Arts Centre, St Andrews; Lyceum Studio Theatre, Edinburgh, Hard to Get, 1980, Edinburgh, Edinburgh; , BBC Radio; BBC television, Commedia, Crucible Theatre Sheffield; Lyric Studio Hammersmith, London (Nominated Evening Standard Award for Best Newcomer), Eve Set the Balls of Corruption Rolling, , BBC Television (Winner of Pye Award, Best Writer New to Television). Wedding Belles and Green Grasses, , Traverse Theatre , BBC Radio, Checking Out, , Lyric Studio Hammersmith, The Works (self-performed) , Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh; BBC Radio 3, Terrestrial Extras, , Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Visiting Company(self-performed) 1988, Tron
Theatre, Glasgow, The Hat, , BBC Radio, The Offski Variations (self-performed), Tron Theatre, Glasgow, The Theory and Practice of Rings, BBC Radio, Troilus and Cressida and Da-di-da-di-da, BBC Radio 3: Nightflights (a musical) , Dundee Repertory Theatre, This Time I Promise (self-performed), Oran Mor Theatre, Glasgow.
Her new one woman play is called Mountains --- a companion piece to This Time I Promise. Marcella Evaristi has been writer-in-residence at the Universities of St Andrews, Glasgow and Strathclyde universities, and held a Fellowship in Creative Writing from Sheffield University. As an undergraduate she won the BBC Student Poetry competition. As a journalist, Marcella has been a radio critic and features writer for the Herald newspaper, and is a regular contributor to the Art Newspaper.
...is one of the UK‟s hardest working and most successful Radio Directors. Most recently she directed the recent runaway R4 comedy success starring Brian Cox Felix Dexter and Laura Solon: The Bob Servant Emails by Neil Forsyth. For BBC Radio Scotland, Sybil Law the sitcom by Charlie Dore starring Una Maclean, and Radio 4 treasures The Stanley Baxter Playhouse, with the great man himself, and the Rumpole series starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Timothy West for BBC Radio 4.
Has produced four series of "Baggage" for Radio 4 and the 90 minute Radio 3 spectacular bio-play about Flan O'Brien, "Your Only Man", all directed by Marilyn Imrie. He is currently producing Very Old Pretenders, written by Carl Gorham and coming soon to Radio 4 late night.
Full Production Credits
Producer - Gordon Kennedy
Director - Marilyn Imrie
Writer - Marcella Evaristi
Studio - Motivation Studios
Studio - Engineer and Editor Alisdair McGregor
Studio - Manager Alison McKenzie
Broadcast Manager - Sophie Tombling
Photographer - Richard Bailey
Researcher/Casting Assistant - Sophie Powling
Production Company - Absolutely Productions Ltd
With thanks to Poppy at Motivation, Gaynor at Hobsons, Tara and Laura at School of Comedy, Jenny at Kelly Management, Catherine Bailey, and Cafe Troika
ALL PRODUCTION PHOTOGRAPHS USED MUST BE CREDITED TO Richard Bailey