Playhouse Presents (2012– )
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Snodgrass 

In 1991 50-year old John Lennon,living on the dole in Birmingham and following the moderate success of the Beatles,recalls how he left the band in 1962 after they were persuaded to release ... See full summary »

Director:

David Blair

Writer:

David Quantick
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Cast

Episode credited cast:
Annette Badland ... Woman in Office
Ryan Brett Ryan Brett ... Young Paul
Lee Broadbent Lee Broadbent ... Young John
Jacob Crosby Jacob Crosby ... Young Pete
Kevin Doyle ... Job Interviewer
Rebecca Elliot Rebecca Elliot ... Receptionist
Ian Hart ... John Lennon
Josh Leach Josh Leach ... Young George
Eric McNichol Eric McNichol ... Bus Driver
Hugh O'Brien ... Sound Engineer
Emma Stansfield ... Cal
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Storyline

In 1991 50-year old John Lennon,living on the dole in Birmingham and following the moderate success of the Beatles,recalls how he left the band in 1962 after they were persuaded to release 'How Do You Do It?' as a single,rather than 'Love Me Do'. Finally John gets a job interview but it comes to naught as John is extremely intolerant of Jobsworths - or Snodgrasses as he calls them and walks out. Returning home his landlady Cal tells him that he just missed Paul McCartney,who came round to tell him that he was quite right,the band should never have recorded 'How Do You Do It?' Written by don @ minifie-1

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Genres:

Drama

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Details

Release Date:

25 April 2013 (UK) See more »

Filming Locations:

Manchester, England, UK

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Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ian Hart also played John Lennon in Backbeat and The Hours and Times. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Day In The Life
4 May 2013 | by LejinkSee all my reviews

Imagine if John Lennon had left the Beatles just as they were poised for success...how would his life have turned out. Well, for one thing, he'd have lost the celebrity status which obviously contributed to his later murder at age 40 by an obsessed fan, so that he would have likely lived on as in this short play, which asks how a genius maverick would fit into everyday society if he or she hadn't got the breaks.

The answer of course is they can't. Here the 50 year old Lennon can't find work in John Major's bleak 1991 Britain and finds himself reduced to taking a numbingly boring desk job under the jurisdiction of jobsworth conformists who unwittingly stir up old memories of the opportunity he passed up thirty years ago.

Beatles historians will be familiar with the group turning down the safe "Tin Pan Alley" guaranteed hit song "How Do You Do It" in favour of Lennon's own edgier, more exciting "Please Please Me". From there the band took over the world and stretched musical boundaries like no other group before or since. In this alternative universe however, the group finds only middling fame - "We could have been bigger than the Hollies'" a jaded Lennon says at one point and is reduced to playing the golden oldies tour circuit.

Thus the point the writer makes is that Lennon was the necessary catalyst to spark his band-mates on their musical odyssey, a claim that supporters of George and Paul in particular might dispute but which sits pretty well with me.

I enjoyed this interesting surmise on what-might-have-been, delivered pithily interspersing some sharp original dialogue with well-known actual Lennon quotes and even some pastiche Lennon music in the background. Ian Hart, not for the first time, plays Lennon well, a man out of time, to paraphrase Elvis Costello, who comes across as a smart-alecky society misfit, with no outlet for artistic expression, forced to suppress his free-will to the dictates of jumped up Snodgrasses as he calls them.

Of course, the play misses the point that someone of Lennon's prodigious gifts would have made it anyway, but for a man who has often been portrayed on-screen big and small since his senseless death over 30 years ago, this wry, off-beat playlet with its "I knew I was right" finish, interested, intrigued and entertained me.


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