This week, Mary. She is wonderful. Scary and wonderful. Coronation Street has a treasure in her. I keep wishing she’d go away because she frightens me. But every scene she does is superb.
She’s a very economical actor. She can create a whole scene with one look or one action. Perhaps because she’s established her character as a woman clearly on the edge so well, she really doesn’t need to give anything more than that first visual trigger and you, the viewer, can fill in the rest. On Thursday, we had four moments of pure Mary-ness.
Her look of longing and animosity at the ladies getting ready for Hayley’s hen party. Who hasn’t felt that when other people were having a good time and excluding you? I felt sorry for her, and I also felt fear – what is she going to do to them?
Her clearing a path like the Queen Mary steaming into port, through the hen party attendees, to the bar to order her dry sherry. “I don’t want to interrupt…”
At Hayley’s urging, Becky reluctantly invites her along for the hen party. Mary refuses, saying that on the last Friday of every month, she dines only on fish. So while the revelers are out condemning their souls to eternal damnation, she “will be tucking into a veritable feast of aquatic life”. Pity the poor fish.
She takes her drink back to the safety of Norris and Emily’s table. There, she chugs her sherry in one spectacular gulp. Norris and Emily watch with looks of shock and awe.
Then the final one, the one that made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Mary behind the wheel of the motorhome, eating candy, watching the hen partyers spilling out into the roadway from Roy’s Rolls. You could feel her tension, wanting to start the engine and mow them down. The moment passes and her eyes regain a semblance of sanity. For tonight, they will live.
Oh, and someone must have bought Hayley the red salsa dress she had returned in a fit of pique. The fishnet stockings too.