Anything penned by Kay Mellor is a must-see for me. And especially given that we’re told this story is based on the real life of Mellor’s mother, portrayed here in two time frames by Billie Piper as Betty the younger, and Sue Johnston as Betty the older.
Told in – logically enough – two episodes, this first concentrated on the younger Betty, whose life was dogged by drudgery. The only light at the end of a tunnel filled with dirty nappies and an apparently rather dullard husband, being the weekly dance at Balula Dance Hall…
Betty goes there with her racy sister Margaret, who it quickly becomes apparent is the good time who’s had by all. But that’s just fine by her; she, and Cyndi Lauper, just wanna have fun.
However, fun – of the biblical kind – isn’t far off for Betty when she meets up with the charming ‘Craze’, aka Alex ‘Craze’ Crazenovski, a Polish native who’s lovingly portrayed by Theo James. But of course in the ‘50s, not only is adultery frowned upon, but doing the nasty with a Polish dude is tantamount to treason.
But, once Betty’s had Pole, nothing hubby Donald can offer can compare, and we see Betty getting Poled in alleyways and up against a variety of walls, and once, even causing a concerned neighbour to wonder what the “banging” was about. Wonder you might madam.
But poor Craze gets shot at a fairground – as you do – and Betty’s world is thrown into yet more chaos…
Cue sneek peeks into the future with Sue Johnston, a motorbike and enough of a hint of what’s to come to make me eager for the concluding part next Sunday when we’ll get to see how it all turned out.