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the Complete Review
the complete review - television



Joe's Ark

by
Dennis Potter


general information | our review | links | about the author

To purchase Blue Remembered Hills



Title: Joe's Ark
Author: Dennis Potter
Genre: TV script
Written: 1974
Length: 43 pages
Availability: in Blue Remembered Hills - UK
  • Included in the volume Blue Remembered Hills (a collection originally titled Waiting for the Boat), along with Blue Remembered Hills (see our review) and Cream in my Coffee (see our review)
  • The volume Blue Remembered Hills / Waiting for the Boat also contains an introduction by the author, 'Some Sort of Preface ...'
  • Joe's Ark was first broadcast on BBC 14 February, 1974. It was directed by Alan Bridges.

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Our Assessment:

B+ : powerful, though tends toward the melodramatic

See our review for fuller assessment.




The complete review's Review:

       Joe's Ark is a powerful little play, with some particularly well-written scenes in it. Ultimately it does not fully realize its potential, but it is still a fine piece.
       It is set in a Welsh town. Joe Jones runs a pet shop, and while he rules over this little world he has been disappointed by god and church. Upstairs his daughter Lucy lies dying from cancer, an osteogenic sarcoma eating away at her bones -- and this after she escaped the provincial life with academic success, making it to Oxford. Joe's son, Robert, has fled the household and works as a comedian, a sore point for Joe.
       A friend of Lucy's from Oxford, John, comes to visit. He is in love with her, but she can't reciprocate his feelings, hoping only to see her lost brother.
       Joe rages against god, religion, and all the world. John tries haplessly to provide some comfort to Lucy. Lucy wastes away.
       The play skirts close to melodrama for much of the way, and occasionally descends into it. Nevertheless, Potter is in fine form here, and his characters are well-developed even in these few short scenes. The writing is very good, and it makes a fine read.

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Links:

Joe's Ark: Dennis Potter: Other books by Dennis Potter under review: Books about Dennis Potter under review:

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About the Author:

       English author Dennis Potter (1935-1994) is best known for his television scripts Pennies from Heaven and The Singing Detective.

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