TV Cream

The Wednesday Play

Stand Up, Nigel Barton/Vote, Vote, Vote for Nigel Barton

Two outings in two weeks for Dennis Potter’s semi-autobiographical hero. Upwardly mobile Keith Barron goes to Oxford and is disowned by his humble mining home town, yet looked down upon by the university grandees. Charles Collingwood is briefly seen. In the ‘sequel’ (actually written and produced first), Barton stands as a Labour MP (as Potter once did), but is again caught in the middle of contradictions, this time political. Full of witty exchanges and memorable scenes, particularly, in Vote…, an embarrassing canvassing trip to an old peoples’ home and a showdown with the Tory candidate at the council dinner. Arnold Ridley also stars.



  1. Victor

    June 2, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    I’ve only seen “Stand Up” but it’s brilliant stuff. Potter laying the class system bare and demonstrating novel ways of distancing the audience e.g. having adults playing school children. If this was made by an American Barron would end up in a high-powered job and buy his parents a condo. As it’s Potter, he simmers with shame and resentment instead. That’s a recommendation, by the way.

  2. Richardpd

    March 13, 2022 at 10:46 pm

    These plays were baed on Dennis Potter’s experiences as a Labour candidate in a by-election, which were enough to put him off a career in politics.

    Luckily he found writing to TV was a decent outlet for his beliefs, and his health problems later in life probably have would have curtailed a political career.

  3. Glenn Aylett

    March 14, 2022 at 7:14 pm

    @ Richardpd, I was once briefly involved in politics and the backbiting, two faced behaviour and nastiness made me decide never again, similar to what Dennis Potter would have encountered in real life and Nigel Barton in the two dramas. Since I was 26, I’ve never bothered much at all with politics and most people my age then would much sooner be having a good time than worrying about the unemployment rate on a local housing estate.

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