Tag Archives: Audrey Roberts

Corrie Street 11 Mar. 2018

Danny Zuko

brian-enters-roversFriday, for the first time I ever remember, someone walked out of Audrey’s salon looking different than when they went in. I was so amazed by seeing actual evidence of a haircut that I didn’t get the Danny Zuko joke at first.

Brian didn’t get it either, apparently. I guess we both missed Grease its first time around. But Bethany, whose mother was not even born until 9 years after the movie was released, knows it well enough to play a joke on Brian.

audrey-looks-at-haircutAudrey, however, got the reference immediately and wasn’t pleased. She knew Danny Zuko was not “some Greek singer that all the kids are mad after”. I googled to check that Audrey and Brian were talking Greece and Grease. I would expect that a teacher would google a name now associated with his hair. But with the teacher being Brian, it isn’t that far-fetched that he wouldn’t. ‘Curiosity’ is not Brian Packham’s middle name.

brian-shows-off-manicureAnd, after six hours of Corrie this week, that’s the best I can come up with for a scene that stood out. Oh, there were moments for sure. But something took the edge of perfection off them for me.

Phelan was perfect, especially in his moment of confrontation with Nicola in the hospital. But I’m weary of the extended permutations and ‘almost’ moments of that story. So I’m happy if we’ve seen the back of Nicola and Seb.

Jenny feeling excluded as the murder of crows called the Connors descended on her living room. That brought a little lump to my throat, and I am not a Jenny Bradley fan. But then she went off to Kevin and they commiserated. I don’t like even having to think about a repeat of them together, or any more secrets and sneaking around.

Johnny and Roy bonding a bit outside the hospital entrance while the transplant surgery was taking place. Great too was the guy in the background, having a smoke right by the No Smoking signs. I loved the scene, but I have nothing other than that to say about it.

greek singer called danny zukoSo Danny Zuko and Brian’s new look it is. The only downside is the appearance of Bethany’s friend at the salon. Because that foreshadows the return of Tassels and the lap dancing story. Gak!

Corrie Street July 31/16

If only Audrey would moonlight as theatre critic for the Weatherfield Gazette! Friday, she gave her take on Waiting for Godot: “If I wanted to audrey-on-waiting-for-godotwatch two old men kicking off, I’d go down to the Legion on dominos night.”

Ken gave her his tickets to the play and suggested she take Freddie. She did. They left early. “We certainly weren’t going to hang around waiting for this Godot fella to turn up. If he’d had any sense, he’d have stayed at home.”

Absolute gold. I switched my allegiance in the Audrey love-interest stakes. I saw Audrey as a good fit for Ken when Nessa was chasing him. Audrey and Ken are long-time friends and get along well. But there are a lot of interests they do not share. Audrey and Freddie are new friends and seem to have a lot in common.

freddie-laughs-about-highbrow-theatreAudrey evidently missed English class a lot when she was in school and hasn’t become familiar with much in the way of literature since. She is intimidated by Ken and fears falling short of his intellectual standards.

Ken enjoys the arts and loves discussing them. But he spent many happy years with Deirdre, who prided herself on not being a brainbox and had little but scorn for Ken’s newspapers and pretensions.

I suspect Freddie knows more about the arts than he lets on. But theatre and literature are not passions of his. Like Audrey, he probably enjoys a good musical. He clearly likes her and I think he is a closer match to her beloved Alfie than Ken is.

Freddie has been matchmaking with Ken on Audrey’s behalf. He audrey-I-love-a-good-musicaltalked Ken into inviting Audrey to the play. But seeing them in the Rovers, Ken thought Audrey and Freddie were interested in each other. So he made up a story about being busy and gave Audrey the tickets, suggesting she take Freddie.

Crossed wires, and an illustration of Ken’s obtuseness about people. Freddie had told Ken his opinion of theatre – it’s a waste of time. And surely Ken knows Audrey well enough to know that Waiting for Godot, for her, would mean waiting for the curtain to come down and lights to come up.

However, Audrey and Freddie did enjoy their evening. They roared up to the theatre on his motorcycle. They annoyed audience freddie-gives-audrey-advise-about-kenmembers by eating candies during the performance. And they were asked to leave. For both of them, it seems, that defines a good night at the theatre. By not showing up, Ken and Godot did Audrey and Freddie a favour.

Corrie Street Apr. 10/16

Different family stories told in Monday’s episode. First, Kylie at family stories kylie-pulls-out-a-dress Freddie’s house, sorting his late wife Sadie’s clothes for the charity shop. There’s a dress he doesn’t want Kylie to pack up. It’s long and silver and sparkly. He wants to keep it for the story in its fabric.

freddie tells kylie about sleeping-beauty-1973In 1973, as a surprise for her 21st birthday, Freddie took Sadie to London, to the ballet in Covent Garden. Going there was a dream she’d long had. He borrowed a suit from a friend. Sadie packed a skirt and blouse. “I had no idea how dressy the ballet was.” In London with only an hour before the performance, “cursing like a navvy,” Sadie went dress shopping. They had little money left. It second-hand-shop-in-sohohad been spent on the tickets, trains and a b & b.

Sadie found her dress in a Soho secondhand shop. She could then enjoy every minute of Sleeping Beauty. Freddie wants to keep the dress, a reminder of that night of elegance and magic. Of his Sadie’s dream come true, of his dream come true in freddie says it is the people you lovesharing his life with her. The silly little rows don’t matter, he tells Kylie, it’s the people you love and those who love you.

Contrast that evocative story of a marriage, embodied in a dress, with the Platt family in real time. Freddie drives Kylie to the hospital when she checks her phone and find many messages. Sarah is having her baby, early.

Platts all-you-care-about-isA family argument has been brewing in the waiting room, and it explodes with their arrival. Kylie and Freddie stay out of it, as do Todd and David. But Gail, Audrey and Nick don’t really need anyone else for a good fight.

call-yourself-a-birthing-partnerGail is the worst of the lot. She turns on Kylie for letting Sarah down as her birthing partner. She pouts that it should have been her. “Oh yes, if she’d fancied giving birth in a multiplex” – Audrey’s little dig at Gail for being at a movie when she was needed.

Nick tells his mother this isn’t helping Sarah, and comes under fire for halfway-across-the-countryhow will he be helping when he’s moved halfway across the country. He says who could blame him, “try and be 35 with your mum breathing down your neck.” Gail’s answer? “Try it when you’re nearly 60.” Audrey sputters with astonishment.

My husband said it reminded him of a time when the Platts were discussing some trashy family, and David said “we are that family.”

Corrie Street Jan. 3/16

Wednesday the Platt ladies lunch at the Bistro – grandmother, mother and daughter. Bethany bursts through the door. How nice, Platt ladies lunch at the BistroAudrey holds up her glass to clink, we’re four generations.

Bethany ignores her and zeroes in on her mother, and the new addition to the family tree. She had just overheard David, Kylie and Todd discussing Sarah’s pregnancy in the salon.

Andy comes to take drink orders. “She’s pregnant” says Gail. “With steph-says-no-shellfish-thenCallum’s baby” Bethany adds. “I could do you a non-alcoholic fruit cocktail?” says Andy to Sarah without missing a beat. Steph comes to ask what they’d like to eat. “She’s pregnant” Andy tells her. “No shellfish then,” Steph says.

The Bistro is crowded. Billy and Sean eavesdrop on Billy asks Sean do you think-i-should-go-over-therethe discussion at the nearby Platt table. Sean’s ears are almost wagging back and forth. “Do you think I should go over there?” Billy asks Sean who assures him, “No need, I can hear them quite well enough from here.”

The discussion grows heated and loud quickly as Audrey and Gail assimilate the fact of Sarah being pregnant by Callum. Billy summons gail-tells-billy-none-of-his-businessup his vicar courage and goes over to ask if he can be of help. No thank you, Gail tells him emphatically. After he slinks back to his table, she exclaims “The cheek of the man!” Audrey agrees, “Yeah, stickin’ his nose in!”

Evidently the concept of a vicar’s work including counselling and gail-says-the-cheek-of-the-manmediation in family matters is a foreign one to the elder Platts. Sarah knows why Billy came over, but her attempt to defend him are pooh-poohed. Gail informs her with pride, “We make our own mess and we clean up our own mess.”

Continuing her effort to look on the bright side of life, Sarah says that maybe the baby is a good thing. “Up the duff by the monster who gail-reacts-to-sarah-saying-it-may-be-goodterrorized our entire family!” is Gail’s summation.

The Noel Coward-ish lines were beautifully delivered by the actors. Timing and expressions were perfect. Just watching the extras was fun, as other diners in the restaurant looked over to the Platt table then quickly looked away in case they too came under fire.

Corrie Street Nov. 15/15

Ken Barlow is one of those guys who needs to be with someone. Yes, Ken Barlow and Audrey Robertshe enjoys his own company and pursues solitary, intellectual pleasures. But spending the day alone enriching oneself in the library is most enjoyable when someone is at home bemoaning your absence, and cooking your dinner. That was Deirdre. Not the same pleasure in coming home to Tracy. She’d be happy if he moved into the library permanently.

audrey-smiles-at-kenKen needs someone to tend to the real world around him and, perhaps more importantly, to be a foil for him. He needs a measure of comparison to reassure himself that he is a special man, a very special man.

So his zeroing in on Audrey so soon after Deirdre’s death isn’t surprising and isn’t out of character. It’s always nervous-making when one half of a soap couple is left alone. Who are they going to ken-speaks-of-being-alonepair him or her up with? Why can’t someone just be on their own and in a storyline once in a while. I had those thoughts when Ken’s eyes landed on Audrey. But I started thinking of Ken as he is, and it made perfect sense.

Ken has rarely, if ever, been without a woman. Often he has more than one on the go at a time. He needs them. He thinks he is pretty special, above the cut of the masses. At the same time, I think he has major insecurities. Both ways, an adoring woman at his side bolsters ken-audreyhis self-image. Especially if she, and he, believe she is not his intellectual equal.

I wonder if that is why, at the end, he decided to not run off with Martha of the canal boat. She had no doubt that she was more than his equal in intellect, social standing and spirit of adventure. He was in thrall with her, and I think that is not a place Ken is comfortable.

Audrey is perhaps the perfect match for him, next to Deirdre. She aspires toward the social graces, the artistic and intellectual. But she would never be a threat to Ken’s opinion of his superiority in those ken-watches-audrey-leavematters. She dresses beautifully and lives in a gracious, comfortable home.

Audrey settled into widowhood graciously. She is comfortable with her own company, despite her queen bee tendencies. She sought love many times after the death of her dear Alfie, but it never really happened. Maybe this time? Maybe with Ken? That would be fine, for both of them, as long as their narcissist traits mesh instead of collide.

Ken BarlowThe introduction of Nessa is unnecessary, but I can go along with it. A threat to Audrey for Ken’s affections, she is not. Perhaps she’ll give one or both of them a nudge, although Ken already seems ready to rock and roll.

Corrie Street Mar. 15/15

Reading Romance

Anna Karenina is one of the best romance novels ever written. Yes, it is long. But the certainly-very-substantial Tolstoy romance novelonly explanation I can think of for the size of the tome Ken gave Audrey is that it’s a large print edition.

If the writers pursue this, I hope we see Audrey getting gripped by the story. Maybe she’ll even call in sick so she can stay home and read it. It is a story about love, loss, societal expectations and family dynamics. All these things are familiar to Audrey from her own life and, presumably, from reading other novels.

i-give-to-youFun is being poked at Ken in this. His tendency to always want to ‘improve’ people. In this instance, seeing Audrey with a romance novel in her hand brings it about.

Emily seems to be the only person aside from Ken who has heard of Anna Karenina. She too thinks that reading it is an entirely reasonable, indeed enjoyable, thing to do. And nobody the-first-chapterpays much mind to Emily or her opinions. Maria thinks the whole idea is entirely mad and a huge joke. That is no big surprise.

But Audrey shares Maria’s opinion and her dismissal of “the classics.” Perhaps Ken might have better introduced the book in terms comparable to ‘Tender Hearts Run Free,’ the romance Audrey was reading. The core of Anna Karenina is a love affair between two people drawn inexorably to each other, just as in all Harlequins. And then it’s a whole lot more.

With the dysfunctional mess that is Audrey’s family, I am surprised that the opening first-sentenceline of the novel did not grab her attention: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Even if she, like most people, wants to think the best of her offspring, she cannot and does not deny their problems and turmoil. That first line, you’d think, would give her a clue that there might be something of interest to her in there.

The writers may be making a joke about Ken’s pretentiousness, but to me it’s Audrey what-am-i-going-to-dowho is being made to look foolish. And that is unfair to Audrey. Had Ken handed the novel to Maria, ok, both of them would look the fool (pearls before swine). Audrey is an intelligent woman who might play the ditz but isn’t one. So I’m not sure what the point of this small plot line actually is. It couldn’t really be the cheap shot at literature and education that it looks like.

Corrie Street June 1/14

It’s complicated

A good story is like a good sausage: you enjoy it without thinking about how it’s made. This week two scenes, both pivotal in moving their stories along. One caught you up in can't-you-guess it's complicatedthe drama and the characters and in the other you saw the wheels going round.

Peter coming home after missing Carla’s first ultrasound scan. “You were out – come on, that’s your cue, you were -“. “Drinking” he says, “It’s complicated”. Carla, not knowing the half of it, denies that there is any complexity in an alcoholic drinking.

we-have-no-chanceCarla’s hurt and rage is emotionally exhausting to watch. I can’t imagine what it felt like for Alison King to act it. And Peter trying to not slur his words and carefully moving his feet so he doesn’t fall over, trying to convey the enormity of what he is dealing with without telling her what it is he’s dealing with. His affair with Tina, his guilt over that, and with Tina’s presence. She is everywhere he is all the time.

He crumples on the floor, the baby scan photo in his hand. Evidence of another reason for him to feel guilty. Another reason to stop crying-on-floordrinking or keep on drinking depending on how he looks at the reality of a baby while his other child will not speak to him. A baby with the wife he loves while he continues a love affair with another woman.

Nearly three minutes at the end of Monday’s episode. Everything in Peter’s life is colliding and collapsing in on itself. This story is reaching a crescendo. And it’s doing it through fabulous acting and writing that propels action while maintaining character integrity. Writing wheels greased so they are noiseless.

Another story headed to culmination this week, propelled by needs of the plot. Maria tells audrey-crosses-to-fiz - complicatedAudrey that she and Tyrone are in love. Audrey realizes something is seriously off with Maria, and runs across the street to tell Fiz. That put Fiz in pursuit of Maria and Tyrone, in time to misinterpret a hug. So we reach the crisis, but the action that moves it along does not keep with character.

I don’t think Audrey would make a bee-line for Fiz simply on the strength of what Maria said. She would think about it, maybe ask Gail’s advice. If David had confirmed that yep, where-to-start-actuallyMaria was being weird, maybe she was decide this was serious enough to break Maria’s confidence and tell Fiz. And that would have been very simple to write in, just with a mention by Audrey that “David said”. The action would still have moved along the same path but would have stayed true to Audrey as we know her. Wheels clunk-clunking their words out of sync with their character.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Oct. 28/12)

Doctors Cat & Zhivago

discussion dinner at Sally'sA cat talking stick and the hope that Lewis would burst through the café door as if he’d just crossed the Russian steppes – the show was book covers for me this week.

Sally explaining cat talking stickMonday saw Sally using skills as a facilitator that she must have learned from some self-help book.  She did it very well, I thought, and seemed delighted to be putting theory into practice.  Using the cat pepper grinder as a “talking stick” was brilliant, as were the cat salt and peppers themselves.  Oh yes, I googled them, hoping they were available for sale but I couldn’t find them.

Ryan with catThe evening of speaking openly and freely hasn’t really improved anything for Michelle and Ryan but that’s not Sally’s fault.  Things became remarkably worse quickly, with Tracy pregnant and with Tracy and Ryan both moving in with Steve and Michelle (and Amy – where’s she?).  I don’t think I can bear watching hijinks in a ‘blended’ McDonald-Connor household and can only pray it ends quickly.

All kinds of stuff happened, including Lewis going walkabout from the train on which he and Audrey were returning to England.  Audrey decided to face the gossip and attend Emily’s birthday party. It was being held at the café during Mary’s Russian Night extravaganza.  Gail decided to suck it up and give her mother moral support by going with her to the Bistro’s “competition”.Audrey and Gail leaving Russian Night

I knew Lewis would return to Audrey and, as Lara’s Theme from Dr. Zhivago played and Norris (the Weatherfield branch of the KGB as Audrey telling Norris the truth about the mystery visitorNick put it) grilled Audrey, I waited for the door to blow open and Lewis, preferably wearing a big fur hat, to blow in.  Alas, it didn’t happen.  Instead, Audrey told Norris the truth, as she feared it might be, and she and Gail left.  She groused about being a fool and her leopard not having changed his spots after all.

She didn’t notice the black car parked on the street by Gail’s house.  And she didn’t notice the driver in it – Lewis, of course.  Although the Lewis drives off streetwindows of the car appeared to be rolled up, he seemed to have heard what she said.  And he drove off.  And, like Lara, my heart broke.

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Feb. 5/12)

Nightmare on Coronation Street

Kylie enters Audrey's salonMonday and Tuesday – great writing, acting, story and character development.  Hard to pick one scene but that’s the task I have set myself. So, Audrey and Kylie at the salon when Kylie hopes to get her job back.

A static scene, just the two of them talking.  But the ‘story’ told!  Audrey’s anger and heartbreak. Kylie’s guilt combined with defiance.  With facial expressions and minimal movement, both showed what was in their minds, how they felt about each other and their memories of what had happened the previous day.  It was heartbreaking to watch and also kind of scary, not knowing which one of them might explode.

Audrey refusing to rehire KylieKylie clearly felt bad about the maelstrom she had caused, thinking she was oh so clever.  She was also scared, knowing that she had indeed pushed too many people too far. Her whole little world and its hopes and dreams might well collapse. And there was nothing she could do about it.   She was also angry and feeling put upon because, after all, nothing is ever Kylie’s fault, somebody is always to blame.

Audrey telling Kylie she loved MarcAnd Audrey was badly shaken, by her own feelings of cowardice as much as by her realization of just what a nasty little cow Kylie really was.  She felt betrayed and she felt herself to be a Kylie crying while listeningbetrayer, yet she had to deal with Kylie right then as employer, business heir and granddaughter-in-law.  You could see she really just wanted to go in the back room and cry.  She looked tired and fed up with dealing with nastiness and idiocy.  And during this, she was herself feeling that she had been both nasty and idiotic to Marc.

Kylie with camera phone in KabinKylie put the cat amongst the pigeons by threatening to show a video she took of Audrey with “Marcia” if Audrey doesn’t rehire her.  Audrey tells Marc who suggests making his alter-ego Marcia public so Kylie’s threat will be meaningless.

Marc tells Audrey they should take controlMarc clearly wants Marcia to come out and Audrey clearly doesn’t.  But both put it in terms of what they can and cannot ask of the other, not what they themselves want.  Read between the lines, people!

Marcia is out!

Rita Mary and Gail look at MarciaSo Marcia appears at the Rovers, asking “room for a little ‘un?” at the table with Audrey, Rita, Gail, Sally and Mary.  Rita and Mary, even Sally, pick their jaws off the floor quite quickly and are fine towards Sally and Audrey when Marcia walks inMarc/Marcia.  Not so Gail and Audrey.  Later, Audrey tells Marc she had thought and hoped she could handle it but she can’t: their relationship is over.  And she’s devastated, both at losing him and at being less open-minded than she thought she was.

Stella greeting new customer MarciaKylie, who has created chaos because David didn’t phone her on her birthday, realizes it’s all over when she sees Marc in the Rovers as Marcia.  She has no more cards up her sleeve to get out of this mess.  Of course, it’s all Gail’s fault for causing what Kylie calls this “nightmare on Coronation Street” when moaning to new BFF Eva.

Another storyline I must mention as Owen Katie and Ches seeing ultrasoundunfolding beautifully was Owen, Katie and Ches recognizing the possibility of Katie’s baby having the disease Izzie has.  The writers gave a lot of material for thought and the actors portrayed it deftly.  All told, these episodes were Corrie Street at its best.

SW Ont. Corrie fans – former Corrie actors are coming to Althouse Auditorium, UWO March 30th.  Yes!

Coronation Street Scene of the Week (Nov. 20/11)

Marc & Marcia & Bambina

The scene that made me shriek with delight this Tuesday was Kevin’s surprise gift to Sally seeing her Fiat 500Sally.  A beautiful little red Fiat 500, giftwrapped!  I just wanted them to keep the camera on the car.  My delight quickly turned to horror as Sally shrieked at the happy salesman to take it back.  No, Sally, you don’t know what you’re saying, no no, keep the car!!  Keep Kevin.  Give the car to me – Kevin too if it’s a package deal!

I thought, she’ll come to her senses.  The car will win out.  But then she flew into Kevin, and even said “the colour stinks”!  No, it’s beautiful!  It’s a brand new little Bambina.  Red!  What more could you want?

It was hard to concentrate on the show after that.  The image of the little orphan car wearing its bow was burned into my brain.

Marc as Marcia

Marc and Audrey in police station Marc as Marcia in police stationBut then I saw Marc, bruised and bloodied, slumped on the bench in the police station in dress, necklace and blonde wig.  The look of surprise then realization on Audrey’s face as she recognized the battered lady on the bench was the suave man she had come to the police station to help – priceless.

Then the beautiful scene that put even the Fiat 500 out of my mind (briefly).  Marc, cleaned up as best he could, explaining about being a transvestite and about his late wife and her acceptance of him and his alter-ego Marcia.  And Audrey understanding, remembering people in her life who were “different” but made her feel “fabulous” for just being her.

Audrey consoling Marc with a hugShe had jumped to the conclusion that many do: that cross-dressing is only something gay people do.  So she remembered her gay friend, Lionel the colourist.  I wished I had known Lionel, just from how she talked about him.  Sadly, he was one of the too many who died of AIDS in the 1980s.

That was a time when living with AIDS wasn’t talked about; dying from AIDS was the only option.  It was very frightening for gay men and for anyone who knew and loved a gay man.  Audrey’s far-away look as she talked about Leonard brought it all back for me.

And Marc was equally concise and effective at explaining straight male cross-dressing to Audrey.  He also conveyed the fear of telling a partner about it, about the fear of rejection Audrey telling Marc he must tell Claudiaand the joy of acceptance.  I also wished I’d known his late wife because she sounds like a lovely lady to have made him so happy in her life and so sorrowful at her death.

I hadn’t really had any thoughts one way or the other before about Marc, other than wondering what he was doing in the storyline with Audrey and Claudia.  Now I like him, feel like I know him, and I hope he and Audrey become lasting friends.  If he tells Claudia about his cross-dressing, I hope she is as understanding as Audrey was.  But, after all, she’s a hairdresser too so, as Audrey said, she also ought to have lots of experience with “people of all types.”  I’m counting on you, Claudia.

Big Jim

Jim telling bank teller to put money in bagFriday note:  I do not believe this bank robbery and Jim story.  He wouldn’t be that stupid, so he wouldn’t.  There are a million other ways to get out of this cockamamie story about the pub ownership.  Jim’s character didn’t need to be sacrificed in schedule-driven writing to accommodate actor and production plans.