Tag Archives: Roy Cropper

Corrie Street May 3/15

Enchanted Evenings

enchanted evening weddingAlong with Michael, I got teary-eyed as he recited the lyrics of South Pacific’s “Some Enchanted Evening” to Gail during their wedding. It made up for a lot about this long, drawn-out, convoluted story. Then Gail knocked the whole thing in the head, for Michael and me, by saying sorry, can’t do it. And Michael stormed off again. Please, when will it be over?

There was, however, an enchanted evening this week. Roy and new acquaintance Cathy having roy gives cathy a top up of teaa cup of tea at her new fold-out table in the allotments. They have adjoining garden plots and, like Roy, she is recently widowed. She tells him that her husband always said he had three loves: her, his ale and his allotment. She is not much for gardening herself, but she wants to keep it in good shape in his memory. Also it’s a place she feels close to him. Roy understands her, maybe better than she knows.

cathy smiles at royThey drank tea from Roy’s flask and talked about things mundane and important. They each seemed aware that this comfort in the company of another was something they hadn’t had for a long time. It was a lovely, and needed, break for them.

Pleasures of ordinary life

It gave us a break too, a moment to sit back and reflect on the pleasures of ordinary conversation and normal life. That’s something in short supply on the Street right now. platt-kids at gail and michael weddingThe Platts are sharing their nasty little three-ring circus of deception and crowdedness with almost everybody, Jenny isn’t sharing anything with anyone, Todd is messing with his mother’s love life just for fun, Sean and Billy are headed for a huge and public fight thanks to Julie’s sense of justice, and Tracy is wrecking other people’s lives because she hasn’t got anything else to do.

roy and cathy enjoy peace and quiet of allotmentMichael gave us the words to Some Enchanted Evening, but the expectations of one for him quickly became derailed. Let’s hope Sharif “my middle name is sensitive” Nazir doesn’t derail the enchanted times that Roy and Cathy may have.

Corrie Street Mar. 29/15

Portugal

if-you-do-not-tell-josephRoy was the most useful person in the leaving-for-Portugal saga. As usual. When the taxi was due to pick up Katy and Joseph, Ches was making chips in the doner shop. Roy came in, café pinny still on, and asked if he weren’t going to see them off. When Ches said he couldn’t face it, Roy said emphatically that he must, that he’d regret it forever if he did not.
coming-upOut the door Ches went, asking Roy to mind the shop. The impatient customer awaiting his chips was not happy about the turn of events. But Roy is used to dealing with snappish customers. “Coming up.” So Ches had the chance to tell his son he loves him.

The rest of Katy and Joseph’s family? Owen and Izzy finally came around to wishing Katy well. That was after telling her that taking Joseph away would do him irreparable damage. What about his family, his home, how-much-do-i-love-youhis homeland? He needs dad, grandparents, aunts and cousins just a door or two away. Never mind the advantages for him that Katy rhymed off – sea and sun, a new language, a house and granny already in place, a chance for his mother to build a career. Doesn’t matter. And Katy? Doesn’t matter. She must put Joseph first and foremost. And what’s best for Joseph is Weatherfield.

not-sure-myselfAfter playing the Joseph card as long as possible, Izzy and Owen turned to their plight. But what would they do without her there everyday all day? How could she do this to them? Only Anna kept out of it. And, aside from Chesney, Anna has the only good reason for not wanting Katy to go. The plus of vacations in Portugal, for her, is offset by the presence of Owen’s ex-wife.

Sinead joins in the fun of running other people’s lives. She decides that Joseph cannot go, waving-as-taxi-leavesand that Ches agreed to it only because she is a burden. So she makes poor Kirk take her home from the hospital. At the house, she decides to stand up in order to reach the biscuits. She falls and goes back to hospital in an ambulance. Her progress is set back considerably and the stress on Ches is increased considerably.

waving-goodbye Katy leaving for PortugalAll this to keep a young woman from going to Portugal in search of a better future and a chance to get to know her estranged mother. It isn’t like she and Joseph are off to cross Antarctica by themselves.

Corrie Street Feb. 22/15

Underacting

Sometimes it’s not the great speech, not the grand gesture. A look tells the story; underacting makes the impact. Three such moments from three actors.  Emotional scenes that, in lesser hands, could become melodrama.

“Take your time, Roy”

take-your-time Roy perfect underactingMonday, Roy is aware that he’s taking up Tyrone and Chesney’s time, going through the woods along the waterfront, from spot to identical spot. He’s looking for the right place to scatter Hayley’s ashes. He finds it, and starts the ritual he has practiced so many times in his head. He can’t continue. His anxiety is in his words, face and the frustrated flap of his hand. Take your time, says Tyrone. And Roy pauses and looks at him. He calms, and proceeds with his words of goodbye.

The pause, more than his words, conveys the importance of this event, the reconciliation he is making with his past life ending and a new one beginning.

Owen’s Ex

Thursday, Owen sees his ex-wife Linda with Katy. He confronts them, how dare Linda me-from-seeing-hersneak back to meet with Katy. How dare Katy have anything to do with this woman who abandoned her. They challenge him, why should they not talk to each other, hear out the other’s side. In one sucked in breath, Owen shows twenty years of pain. For just a heartbeat, he is silent.

In that instant, we see the hurt he still feels from Linda leaving him and their children, the fear that his daughters will be hurt again, and the fear too that they will abandon him. Then he goes back to yelling and threatening, being Owen again.

“Could you be…”

Friday, Craig consults Dr. Google to help Faye find possible reasons for her gain in weight. After they dismiss Cushing’s Disease, he continues scrolling then looks at the possible-thenscreen with shock. He asks, “could you be…?”

The pause and the look in his eyes is all we need to know what he is asking. Could she be pregnant. He is embarrassed and horrified but he waits for her answer. Not possible, she says, also looking embarrassed and horrified. But he perseveres with an ungainly but lovely sensitivity, making her aware she has to be honest with him and with herself.

All three situations are ones in which overacting would be easy. In all three, it’s the tiny pause the actors give that sets up the dramatic strength of the words that follow.

Corrie Street Feb. 15/15

History Today

Friday Sinead makes peace with Roy and, in doing so, spurs him to make peace with his sinead-smiles-at-royand Hayley’s history. Sinead’s brush with mortality makes her empathize with Hayley’s illness, one from which there could be no return to good health. Putting herself in Hayley’s shoes, and Roy in Chesney’s place as sickbed companion, she sees the emotional pressure that Roy has felt. No wonder he snapped and attacked an intruder, she realizes.

roy-with-magazinesRoy comes to the hospital, bringing magazines. He brushes off her praise of his selection. Chesney chose, he says. Train magazines and History Today comprise his tastes. Shouldn’t it be History Yesterday, Ches says. Roy ignores the pun and explains it is about understanding past events with contemporary analyses. Perspectives change, he says.

Sinead agrees, and gives her new perspective on Roy’s behaviour. It still comes from sentiment, and Roy’s self-assessment is based in logic. But, despite talking roy-at-hospital-bedsidepast each others’ meaning, they both take away important insights. Sinead realizes that Roy is the gentle man she knew him to be but that everyone has stress limits beyond which they cannot be pushed. Roy sees that he must accept his emotional responses and let them inform him instead of locking him in history. it is time, he decides, to move to the present without losing his memories of Hayley. He should, as she wished, use her as a guide but not a limiter.

All this coincides with the Woody needing an inspection certificate and a good clean up roy-says-sell-carand drive. Carla and Tyrone take over the practicalities and give a needed nudge. Hayley wanted you to learn to drive, Carla reminds him. He argues that he has no need or wish to drive, so find the car a new home. But the marble of driving starts rolling around in his head.

The Woody takes Roy, Tyrone and Chesney to a park to find a spot for Hayley’s ashes. He has given a lot of thought to Hayley’s wish that her ashes be taken to Blackpool, but woody-in-woodsdecides that a place filled with only good memories of their love is better for him, the one still living.

It is nice that it is Sinead who causes this shift in Roy. She is a soul as guileless as both Hayley and Roy. He returns the favour by showing her that judgement cannot come from emotion alone. Carla and Tyrone will do well the heavy lifting of implementing change in Roy’s practical life. I thank God that Fiz is still away so she cannot ‘help’!

Corrie Street Jan. 11/15

Gift of the Magi

Maybe it was coincidence that a Christmas week story reminded me of an O. Henry story. In “The Gift of the Magi,” a couple each give up what is most valuable to them in order to give something to the other.

roy in police station, coincidence of airtime in storyRoy and Gary give each other their loyalty. Having both been driven to desperation, they hurt each other. In two scenes Wednesday, each takes the blame for what happened. They do so in ways true to their character: Roy tells the complete truth, Gary lies. Their end purpose is the same, to absolve the other of wrongdoing.

The young hooligans are harassing Roy again. They brag about looking through the things in his apartment. They disparage Hayley, their worst sin in his eyes.

Gary’s family is treating him like a pariah, for becoming involved with Ayla rather than Gary-with-policereturning to Izzy as they had hoped, for having lost his job due to his involvement with Ayla, for having borrowed money from Faye to buy his son a Christmas gift and then having the bad luck to buy something his mother had already bought. Gary’s bad luck is compounded by accidentally breaking “Faye’s one big Christmas present we all clubbed together to get her”.

Gary uses Anna’s keys to go into the café to rob it. He does not know what has been happening with Roy, nor how on edge he is. Roy hears noise, grabs his cricket bat, goes bruises-garydownstairs and wallops the young man in the hoodie with his hands in the till. But he doesn’t stop there. On the street, he continues hitting him.

Sinead sees and is horrified by Roy’s violence. She is gentle like Roy, and seeing him out of control terrifies her more, perhaps, than it would any one else.

Roy is arrested and he tells exactly what happened and refuses to press charges against Gary. For Roy, his own actions outweigh what Gary was trying to do. In the hospital, when questioned, Gary says Roy only hit him once and that his extensive injuries came roy-sees-wierdofrom him falling. “I must bruise easily,” he says.

When Roy comes home, he sees the young louts have scrawled “wierdo” on the café window. Roy’s only comment is, “they spelled it wrong.”

 

Corrie Street Oct. 26/14

A Day in a Life

mr-mrs-r-cropperA year ago, Roy was in Blackpool with Hayley. This year, the hotel sends a cheery notice addressed to them both, offering a discount should they return. A lot can change in a year, as Roy says.

Putting the hotel’s unwanted solicitation out of his mind, he plans this year’s trip to Blackpool – to scatter Hayley’s ashes. He asks Tyrone and Fiz to accompany him. Why, I don’t know. Roy has unending patience if he roy-wading-in-sea a day in blackpoolcould tolerate Fiz’s fussing, flapping and incessant talking. She and Tyrone had not brought the girls, something Fiz regretted as she looked at the lovely, and very cold, sea. I don’t think the presence of two small children could have been more distracting than Fiz even if they tried.

In a Fizless moment, Roy and Tyrone watched an elderly couple come near on the beach. The old roy-watches-old-couplelady nattered at the man about being careful to not hurt himself as he tried to unfold a chair. Roy stepped up and asked if he could help. He unfolded one and Tyrone the other. Then they went on their way, leaving the couple bickering in the way that couples who have been together a long lifetime do. Roy saw what could have been, I suppose, what he and Hayley would have been doing years hence, if only.

fiz-tyrone-and-roy-blackpoolFiz, with a tray of teas, caught up with them and launched into her story about the lineup at the tea stand. She continued yammering about how fast Roy was walking, she couldn’t keep up, was going to spill the tea. Tyrone took the tray from her, thanks be to Jesus, so she had one less thing to yap about.

roy-says-he-will-not-scatter-ashesRoy sat on a bench and, once Fiz shut up, told them that, despite Hayley’s wishes, he was not going to scatter her ashes. They may not be her, but they were all he had left and he was keeping them.

Back at home, after a truly difficult day at the seaside, Roy discovers his café and flat had been burgled. Maybe a group of nasty teenage boys who have been hanging around harassing him? His photo albums and model roy-and-anna-in-wrecked-flattrains were trashed, everything scattered and destroyed. He put Hayley’s ashes back in the cabinet and went downstairs. Despite a new lock, he reinforced the door with furniture.

Corrie Street Sept. 21/14

Fly-Tipping

owen pulls lamp from dumpsterFly-tipping: dumping garbage where you’re not supposed to. A lamp thrown in a dumpster was cause for a funny small mystery in the larger story of the dodgy flooring and subsequent dodgy efforts to rectify that mistake.

Jason put the dumpster in front of Tyrone and Fiz’s house while doing the rebuilding. Owen is looking to see what is usable. He and Tyrone wonder about Steve says lamp looks familiarthe lamp on top. Neither have seen it before. Steve comes along, looks at the lamp and says it’s not his but it looks familiar.

Tyrone goes to see Jason at the yard to discuss compensation. Jason says that Roy said he’d seen the lamp before.

Later that day, the Platts prepare for Max’s birthday party. The lamp is in the kitchen. david-asks-about-lampGail says Michael pulled it out of the skip at Tyrone’s, thought Audrey might like it. David looks at it, puzzled, and says it looks familiar.

Everyone on the street has seen the lamp. Nobody knows how it ended up on the skip but it looks familiar to Steve, Roy and David. What, or who, is a connection between those three? I ran through my mental store of Street history but I could not figure it out.

Then nearly at the end, Tracy looks out the window of Barlow’s Buys. She says to Rob, Tracy sees lamp is gone from skip“Somebody took that old lamp! You know, from my bedroom.” Of course, the connection is that all three men have been in Tracy’s bedroom, willingly or unwillingly.

Years ago, David and Tracy had a little fling. Poor Roy ended up spending the night in Tracy’s bedroom due to a bet she had made. That led to her claiming that he had fathered Amy. Of the three, Steve spent the most time in Tracy’s bedroom. I guess the decor of her room is something, like their marriage, that he would rather forget.

Tracy’s words about the lamp, that “people will take any old tat”, is a lovely summary of lamp-in-skip-againmuch about her. The lamp ended up back in the dumpster, and the other mystery – of why their floor collapsed – was solved for Tyrone and Fiz. Owen was back at the skip, scavenging for usable scraps. No, not for a floor, he told them about the wood, too thin for that, against regulations even.

* CBC programming note:  On Monday Sept 29th and Tuesday Sept 30th, three episodes will air each evening.  Wednesday it’s back to the usual one. These extra episodes will bring Canada to a week behind the UK broadcast.  Thanks, Bluenose Corrie, for this good news.

Corrie Street July 6/14

Memorials

hearse-windowIt was the side funerals for Tina that I liked best.

Steph missed the real funeral because she had second thoughts about her pink dress. Then she became distraught over what to wear instead and about losing her friend. For once, Katy had a moment of empathy and common sense. Let’s have our own commemoration of Tina, she said.

toast-to-TinaSo Steph, Katy and Luke told stories about Tina while drinking beer and listening to Tina’s favourite songs. Perfect, until Luke started casting lecherous looks at Katy. Ick, especially when she returned them. It’s not surprising coming from him. He’s been girlfriend hunting since he arrived on the street, and he didn’t really know Tina all that well aside from having put the makes on her. But Katy? Maybe not surprising either, despite her having known Tina better. Katy, despite the high horse she’s on about Anna ‘selling’ herself to Phelan, sets a far lower price on herself, I think. A compliment, a can of beer, and she’s all yours.

Roy-looks-at-dead-flowersBoth Roy and Mary were on the street to see the hearse off but neither went to the funeral. Looking across the street at the memorial bouquets in front of the building yard, both were saddened by how quickly they too had died. Roy quoted from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, and an idea formed in his mind while he and Mary played chess. He suggested a trip to the garden centre.

ready-to-release-balloonsSteph too thought of something. She went out to the store, leaving Luke and Katy to cozy up together. And she was back. The three of them wrote messages to Tina and tied them to helium balloons. Then from the balcony that Steph had not been on since Tina plunged off it, they sent the balloons aloft. Lovely.

Roy-and-Mary-finish-planterRoy and Mary finished up their garden box. Hoping the flowers would do what we ask of perennials: give new beauty each year and remind us of when and why we planted them. These two groups celebrated Tina’s life in their own, and fitting, ways.

So did others. Deirdre consoled Eccles. Liz, with Tony’s help, got everything ready at the Rovers for the reception. Michelle took Deirdre-with-Ecclessome me-time and went shopping.

Everyone at the funeral did pretty much as they pleased too. Rita was gracious, respectful and heartbroken. David was rude. Peter was drunk.  Simon had a tantrum. And there was a fist fight at the cemetery.  Fortunately, no one fell in the grave.

Corrie Street Feb. 16/14

The Eulogy

One and a half minutes:  the length of time Roy spoke at Hayley’s funeral.  His words dark-cornerencompassed their love, their not so easy road toward happiness together, his devastation at being without her, and his anger at her choosing to leave him.  What his words didn’t say, his face did.

The late Sir John Betjeman, British poet laureate, said about the writing and acting on Coronation Street:  “Not a word too many.  Not a gesture needless.”  That is Roy, as David Neilson and the writers presented him during Hayley’s illness, death and maybe especially in his unintended eulogy.

roy-looking-at-coffinRoy is angry at Hayley, angry that she is gone and that she did it deliberately.  He wanted as much time as possible with her, no matter what that might cost her in pain and fear.  He couldn’t express his anger while she was still alive.  But after her death, he could and did.  The messages she left for him – a to-do list, the photograph album, the words of “what Hayley wanted” from the lady who will conduct the service – all increased his anger and his feeling of his life and needs being sidelined by “what Hayley wanted.”

colourful-coffinIt all boils up at the funeral that he did not want to attend.  The music of Queen, who Hayley liked and Roy didn’t.  Roy looks at the organic materials coffin holding Hayley’s body and fumes. All the while, Fiz talks and cries about how wonderful Hayley was.  He interrupts; he’s going to tell the truth about Hayley, she was not a saint, was not perfect.

Then he looks at the coffin again, and his face changes.  The love comes back in his eyes and he talks about what Hayley meant to him.  The anger is gone, although his loneliness and bereavement are not.  He sits down, spent, and the service continues.  It ends and the final music is Hayley’s choice again, of course.  It is a choice she made for Roy:  Bach’s daffs-on-coffinConcerto for Two Violins and she had told the pastor why she chose it.  She understood Roy’s explanation of its perfection of harmonic ‘voice’. Therefore she picked it as a reminder to him of the harmony of their two human voices.

After he has had a chance to get away from the cacophony of grief and solicitude that has surrounded him in Weatherfield, he will come back to the photograph album that Hayley made for him.  Then, and until then, he will grieve in his own way.  If he did go to see his mother, I think she is the best person he could have chosen. She would understand his way of mourning.

The actions and characters of this story are of course fictional.  But being fictions roy-seatedprovides a buffer perhaps, allowing us to absorb the realities of the emotions expressed, of love and loss, sorrow and fear, and anger over natural and human decisions.

Corrie Street Feb. 9/14

Aftermath

aftermath Carla and Anna at bedroom doorCarla and Anna in Hayley and Roy’s room, afterwards. Their shock, realizing Hayley is dead. She lies curled in Roy’s arms. He isn’t aware they’re even in the room. They see the glass on the bedside table, used. They know what happened although they say not a word to each other or Roy.

anna-puts-glass-awayAnna takes the glass and washes it. She didn’t hear the stern warning Hayley gave Roy: don’t touch the glass, this was my action alone. Anna finds Fiz at the Rovers and breaks the news to her and all in the pub. (In the pub tableau of small groups assimilating the news, especially poignant was the thought-filled sadness of Emily, Rita, Dennis, Norris and Deirdre. They all know first-hand how it feels to lose the person closest to you.)

When Fiz goes to Roy’s, you see the differences in how people handle crises and who roy-with-hayleymight be actually of more help. Carla and Anna knew something was up even before Hayley took her fatal drink. Both felt Hayley had acted oddly the last time they had seen her. Anna had some warning; Roy had told her weeks ago that Hayley planned to kill herself. So let’s focus on Carla and Fiz. Neither of them knew Hayley’s intentions.

Carla had an uneasy feeling from when Roy wheeled Hayley in to the factory for an evening visit. Just out to take the air, Hayley what-I-wanted-to-saysaid, but Carla knew something was up. With Fiz, Hayley specifically asked her to come with Tyrone and the children. Fiz came in her lunch break, Tyrone had to stop a job he was in the middle of, and they hauled the kids out of daycare. Baby Ruby had a sniffle so they didn’t want her near Hayley. Hayley had to shout give me that baby, an unpleasant scene that Hayley felt bad about after. Despite these uncharacteristic actions, Fiz saw nothing worrisome.

carla-and-anna-exchange-looksSeeing Hayley so unexpectedly dead, Carla put two and two together very quickly. She and Anna stood quietly with quick looks at each other as if communicating how best to deal with Roy and what they knew, and with Fiz. Fiz howled about how upset she was, if only she’d known, what she’d wanted to say, she’d thought there was time, etc. Roy felt compelled to say “sorry” to Fiz. As if her comfort was more important than his, even Hayley’s.

carla-anna-with-royIn the aftermath, Carla was there, mentally organizing what needed to be done and carefully watching Roy. She stood quietly, spoke of practical matters when warranted, touched Roy only briefly when it seemed appropriate. Fiz followed him like his shadow. Glommed to him, saying what can I do to help, I’m so upset, and on and on. Not for a second did she back off, listen to Roy or even truly look at him, or stop imposing her needs and wishes on him.

The irony of this is that it is Carla who is believed by others, and herself, to be no good in an emotional crisis and to lack empathy. Fiz is thought by others, and herself, to be the roy-listens-to-fiz-cryepitome of caring and sharing, in tune with the emotional life around her. Especially with Roy and Hayley, it is Fiz who has the longer and closer history. But in a crisis of these proportions, I know whom I’d want around me, and I think Roy would agree: Carla. Fiz would make me want to jump off a cliff.