Did we like it?
Peter Tabern’s adaptation of David Almond’s spooky novel was perfect for a damp Sunday afternoon – but deserved a more prominent slot and some decent promotion.
What was good about it?
• We enjoyed the juxtaposition of teeth-chattering and toe-tapping moments in a drama where some very scary scenes brushed up against breezy 1960s pop music.
• The story. Tyneside teen Davie Hagan (Harry McEntire) is a jaunty Geordie lad, despite having to cope with the might of the Catholic church, a drunken bully and raging hormones. Then he encounters Stephen Rose (Ben-Ryan Davies) – a very non-jaunty lad – and, rather unwillingly, helps in the creation of a clay monster.
• The acting. McElhinney and Davies were very convincing, never showing any glimmers of stage school rawness, but Imelda Staunton gave the most memorable performance as Mad Mary, genuflecting day and night, living, it seems, on bread, jam and faith alone.
What was bad about it?
• The scheduling. It should have had a better slot.
• It sometimes moved a little too slowly.