British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

Berry’s Way

Synopsis
Television comedy drama. Tired of his father’s selfish behaviour and criticisms, and his insolent and indolent son who is averse to education, divorced dry-cleaner proprietor (motto - ‘no pain, no stain’) Berry Cottrell (Henry) enrols for an evening class to study Hamlet. The successful conclusion of the course, including a 2000-word essay on ‘The Destructive Effect of Male-Female Relationships in Hamlet’ will give Berry the opportunity to take an English Literature degree if he so wishes. The motley class is led by an eccentric and neurotic teacher Charles (Cook) who is experiencing relationship difficulties with his wife - mostly conducted over their mobile phones. In the class Berry meets a fellow student Kate (Emmerson) to whom he is attracted. The class discusses briefly the double-standard Polonius applies to the behaviour of his two children - Berry concluding that Ophelia goes out with Hamlet primarily to spite her father. Berry is excited by the play and tells his son ‘It’s like KILL BILL, only in tights’, and later quotes ‘to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune - what a great way of saying life sucks’. The class attends a matinee performance of a modern (military) - dress studio production of the play. There are brief extracts from the opening scene on the battlements, Hamlet’s scene with Ophelia ‘let the devil wear black’ (III, ii) and Hamlet’s death. Later, at the dry cleaners, in a black and white dream sequence, Berry dreams of himself as Hamlet and Kate as Ophelia. In Elizabethan dress they enact some of the lines from the play including ‘get thee to a nunnery’ (III i) and ‘do you think I meant country matters’ (III ii). In a conversation with Charles, TERMINATOR (1984) gets confused with Shakespeare ‘The future is not set. There is no future but what we make ourselves’ Shakespeare? . Schwarzenegger, Terminator 1’. Berry successfully completes the course.
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Medium
Television
Technical information
Colour / Sound
Transmission details
29 Sep 2006 at 21:00 (Channel: BBC1)
Duration
60 mins

Credits

Director
Mehta Huseyin
Producer
Sue Howells
Writer
Kim Fuller; Lenny Henry
Music
Courtney Pine
Art Direction
Lucienne Suren
Cast
Lenny HenryBerry (Hamlet)
Charlotte EmmersonKate
Ron CookCharles

Additional Details

Production type
Television and Radio Drama
Plays
Hamlet
Subjects
Drama
Keywords
Shakespeare, William (1564-1616); Amateur theatre

Production Company

Name

Tiger Aspect

Archive

Name

BFI National Archive

Web
http://www.bfi.org.uk/archive-collections/searching-access-collections/research-viewing-services External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7255 1444
Fax
020 7436 0165
Address
21 Stephen Street
London
W1T 1LN
Name

Learning on Screen Off-Air Recording Back-up Service

Email
services@bufvc.ac.uk
Web
http://bufvc.ac.uk/tvandradio/offair External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7393 1514
Fax
020 7393 1555
Address
For Learning on Screen Members only
77 Wells Street
London
W1T 3QJ

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