The earliest surviving Half Hour Story episode directed by Alan Clarke is a witty two-hander scripted by Alun Owen. Two strangers (Wendy Craig and Colin Blakely) come together in a park shelter and engage in a frank, confessional and confrontational conversation.
Owen’s teleplay uses its novel conceit as the basis for a verbally incendiary exploration of class, sexual politics and the merits of the city of Norwich.
While such a display of sexual and political power-posturing may seem very much of its time, Clarke’s approach to the material always keeps it fresh. The almost Gothic ornateness of Holland Park Orangery make for a setting more akin to a Tennessee Williams play than something from a British TV drama; while Clarke’s expressive use of framing is always astute.