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the Complete Review
the complete review - television play

Man in a Side-Car

Simon Gray

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Title: Man in a Side-Car
Author: Simon Gray
Genre: Television play
Written: 1971
Length: 52 pages
Availability: Man in a Side-Car is currently out of print
  • Man in a Side-Car was first broadcast on the BBC 27 May 1971, in a production directed by James MacTaggart and starring Gemma Jones as Edith

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Our Assessment:

B- : dank and clever psychological terrorizing

See our review for fuller assessment.

The complete review's Review:

       Man in a Side-Car tells of an unusual trio: successful novelist Edith and her husband of a few years, Gerald, and their friend Tommy, who has been living with them for the past four years. It is Tommy who is the man in the side-car, riding along with Gerald, his helpless mate, going wherever he is taken. Just a passenger.
       Gerald and Tommy are working on a play, but it is no good and won't be any good and isn't anything to pin their hopes on. Edith, meanwhile, continues to write with great success.
       She is just finishing up another novel -- and she is also finished with Tommy, asking him to finally leave their lives. With a small baby in the household, and no chance of much success from the essentially fruitless collaboration between Gerald and Tommy there is no reason for him to remain.
       But Tommy is only one aspect of the strain in the marriage between Edith and Gerald, who also can't quite deal with his wife's success. When Tommy is asked to leave things come to a head. Gerald also disappears, taking something close to Edith with him, and the psychological games begin.
       There is some clever stuff her, especially Gerald's "very literary" games -- games that are "literal, in fact". The only way of getting to a writer, apparently.
       It is a decent study of these unhappy characters, though there is some decidedly unpleasant stuff going on here. The literary humour is fun, including when Edith's publishers appear on the scene, and the drama does play out quite well. It doesn't seem fully realized, but it is a solid, small effort.

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Simon Gray: Other books by Simon Gray under review: Other books of interest under review:
  • See Index of Drama under review

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About the Author:

       British author Simon Gray (1936-2008) wrote numerous plays, as well as works of fiction and non-fiction.

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