“A Chip in the Sugar”: Taped in England by BBC-Lionheart Television. Producer , Innes Lloyd; director, Stuart Burge; writer, Alan Bennett; camera, John Corby; editor, Denis Wyatt; sound, Richard Partridge; music, George Fenton.
Cast: Alan Bennett
Latest talent showcase on “Masterpiece Theatre” is two monologues, pushing performing and writing talent right out front with no frills–stand or fall. Stand they do.
“In My Defence” is based on the actual events of a mercy killing performed by a 32-year-old Welsh woman on her own mother, who was suffering from motor neurone disease (known here as Lou Gehrig’s Disease).
Writer Jack Emery interviewed the real-life subject and adapted the piece as such; director David Jones establishes tape recorder and mike, actress Saskia Reeves asks “Is it on?” then takes off.
Format leaves it totally up to scripter and performer. Reeves takes the character through emotions of regret, fear, exasperation, pity, laughter-through-tears, remembrance and deep abiding love and respect and makes audience empathize with each rise and fall of feeling.
“A Chip in the Sugar” stars Alan Bennett as a mentally disturbed middle-aged man still clinging to “Mum.”
The piece, directed by Stuart Burge, offers up plenty of emotions as Bennett talks about going for a walk with Mum, her meeting and being courted by an old suitor.
Bennett, of course, is excellent interpreter of his own work and takes character through wide range of emotions with marvelous Yorkshire understatement. Strong humor and neat twists along the way holds audience totally.