Picking up the morning after the night before, will Elsie be able to get Dennis to the church on time? And how will Dennis manage to be in two places at once on his wedding night?
Things take a more dramatic turn in this second episode of live Corrie. In true Coronation Street fashion, there are a number of obstacles in Dennis’s way before and after his wedding.
Jeni Howarth Williams and David Crowley pull at the heartstrings with their tender scenes as mother and son. Crowley’s pent-up nervous energy is a perfect contrast to Amy Searles’ more contemplative Jenny Sutton as time draws closer to the ceremony.
Whilst Elsie is left vulnerable by the marriage of her youngest son this allows time for Colin Connor’s dependable Len Fairclough to make his unrequited advances on Elsie. Connor and Williams, although Len and Elsie’s relationship has been built up over the lifetimes of the characters convince very well, in what is a short scene, of the depth of their feelings for each other.
Russell Dixon is able to show a softer side to Ena Sharples at the conclusion of the episode as she comforts (in as much Ena is able) Jenny; Amy Searles perfectly portraying her upset at being alone on her wedding night. This being his departure episode, Tom Burroughs’ Jerry Booth completely manages to fluff his moment at the best man speech, much to the hilarity of the other characters. Burroughs successfully manages to evoke the audience’s sympathy for him on his departure.
Light relief is provided by Richard Sails Albert Tatlock with his – unusual – choice of wedding present for the couple and by Val Tagger’s excellent Minnie Caldwell, beautifully involving the audience in one segment that I won’t spoil here, but raised a loud laugh during the performance.
Helen Parry’s direction is excellent, pulling together a demanding production involving limited stage areas and audience participation and making it look effortless whilst maintaining a high standard for performances. The cast look as if they have great chemistry with each other, making the notion of this being a community very believable.
Producers Gareth Kavanagh and Lisa Connor have a lot to be proud of, not only on producing an outstanding series of performances, but bringing back these three episodes, which run from witty observations on everyday Northern life through to tender moments, which tonight’s episode was full of.
You’ve got one more chance to catch “The Wedding of Dennis Tanner” on Sunday 15 January, but the episode I reviewed on Sunday, “The Ogdens” is on Thursday 12 January and repeated in the Omnibus on Sunday 15 January also. Tickets may be available, if not sold out, from www.lastfest.co.uk and are in support of Myeloma UK.