The Singing Detective ePUB Ã The Singing PDF/EPUB or

The Singing Detective This is the unabridged original text of Dennis Potter s acclaimed six part television serial The narrative counterpoints life in a hospital ward of a writer crippled by a horrific skin disease with the plot of his atmospheric thriller to the point where fantasy and reality seem to exchange places The result is the most painful and disturbing screen drama of the s


About the Author: Dennis Potter

Dennis Christopher George Potter 17 May 1935 7 June 1994 was an English dramatist, best known for The Singing Detective 1986 His widely acclaimed television dramas mixed fantasy and reality, the personal and the social He was particularly fond of using themes and images from popular culture Such was his reputation that he convinced BBC 2 and Channel 4 to co operate in screening his final two works, written in the months he was aware of his impending death.Potter s career as a television playwright began with The Confidence Course, an expos of the Dale Carnegie Institute that drew threats of litigation Although Potter effectively disowned the play, it is notable for its use of non naturalistic dramatic devices in this case breaking the fourth wall which would become hallmarks of Potter s subsequent work Broadcast as part of the BBC s The Wednesday Play strand in 1965, The Confidence Course proved successful and Potter was invited for further contributions His next play, Alice 1965 , was a controversial drama chronicling the relationship between Lewis Carroll and his muse Alice Liddell Potter s most celebrated works from this period are the semi autobiographical plays Stand Up, Nigel Barton and Vote, Vote, Vote for Nigel Barton the former the tale of a miner s son going to Oxford University where he finds himself torn between two worlds, the latter featuring the same character standing as a Labour candidate his disillusionment with the compromises of electoral politics is based on Potter s own experience Both plays received praise from critics circles but aroused considerable tension at the BBC for their potentially incendiary critique of party politics.Potter s Son of Man The Wednesday Play, 1969 , starring the Irish actor Colin Blakely, gave an alternative view of the last days of Jesus, and led to Potter being accused of blasphemy The same year, Potter contributed Moonlight on the Highway to ITV s Saturday Night Theatre strand The play centred around a young man who attempts to blot out memories of the sexual abuse he suffered as child in his obsession with the music of Al Bowlly As well as being an intensely personal play for Potter, it is notable for being his first foray in the use of popular music to heighten the dramatic tension in his work Potter continued to make news as well as winning critical acclaim for drama serials with Pennies From Heaven 1978 , which featured Bob Hoskins as a sheet music salesman and was Hoskins s first performance to receive wide attention It demonstrated the dramatic possibilities old recordings of popular songs Blue Remembered Hills was first shown on the BBC on 30 January 1979 it returned to the British small screen at Christmas 2004, and again in the summer of 2005, showcased as part of the winning decade 1970s having been voted by BBC Four viewers as the golden era of British television The adult actors playing the roles of children were Helen Mirren, Janine Duvitski, Michael Elphick, Colin Jeavons, Colin Welland, John Bird, and Robin Ellis It was directed by Brian Gibson The moralistic theme was the child is father of the man Potter had used the dramatic device of adult actors playing children before, for example in Stand Up, Nigel Barton.The Singing Detective 1986 , featuring Michael Gambon, used the dramatist s own battle with the skin disease psoriasis, for him an often debilitating condition, as a means to merge the lead character s imagination with his perception of reality.His final two serials were Karaoke and Cold Lazarus two related stories, both starring Albert Finney as the same principal character, one set in the present and the other in the far future.Potter s work is distinctive for its use of non naturalistic devices The lip sync technique he developed for his serials with songs Pennies from Heaven The Singing Detective and Lipstick on Your Collar , extensive use of flashback and nonlinear plot



10 thoughts on “The Singing Detective

  1. Trevor Trevor says:

    I remember when this was first shown on television I remember the effect it had on me That television could be like that Here was something that proved television could be somethingthan mindless drivel Of course, I was wrong and The Singing Detective was just the exception that proves the rule This is a detective story with lots of clues and red herrings, but no solutions A fantastic idea and brilliantly handled A man suffering from a horribly debilitating skin disorder refuses t I remember when this was first shown on television I remember the effect it had on me That television could be like that Here was something that proved television could be somethingthan mindless drivel Of course, I was wrong and The Singing Detective was just the exception that proves the rule This is a detective story with lots of clues and red herrings, but no solutions A fantastic idea and brilliantly handled A man suffering from a horribly debilitating skin disorder refuses to take any drugs to help him cope with the pain and hallucinates his way through remembering a novel he wrote set in the 1940s about a singing detective and instances from his childhood, also in the 1940s, in which his lonely life, his parent s marriage falling apart and his horrible secret from school are merged together with the nightmare he is going through with his marriage falling apart as his struggles to come to terms with his illness.There are so many levels to this that getting the chance to read it helps enormously Potter never minded putting inin his dramas than his audiences were likely to grasp in one sitting But this is his masterpiece Mel Gibson did a film version of this suitably dumbed down and set in America for some reason as if he didn t have enough to answer for making The Passion of the Christ One can only hope there is a hell after seeing what Gibson did to The Singing Detective it is clear no self respecting God would let that go unpunished.Not as bleak as Pennies From Heaven this really is something special But then, I m a bit of a Potter nut I even got my daughters to watch The Singing Detective as one does I m not sure it gets much better than this


  2. lark benobi lark benobi says:

    I haven t read many plays outside of Shakespeare and Tennessee Williams and the occasional Ionesco in college French classes, and now I m wondering why Reading The Singing Detective was a remarkable visualization experiment It s strange that, even though there are fewer words here to make a picture with in my mind, teverything appeared muchvividly to my mind s eye than I typical novel scene does to me, even if I ve never seen the television play The layers of alternative realities that I haven t read many plays outside of Shakespeare and Tennessee Williams and the occasional Ionesco in college French classes, and now I m wondering why Reading The Singing Detective was a remarkable visualization experiment It s strange that, even though there are fewer words here to make a picture with in my mind, teverything appeared muchvividly to my mind s eye than I typical novel scene does to me, even if I ve never seen the television play The layers of alternative realities that weave and wind throughout the play made this quite an experience and I m curious now to see the play performed.


  3. Steven Ryan Steven Ryan says:

    Didn t have psoriasis but had eczema from head to toe throughout my childhood ahhh sob sob , I did sob, so this was on my page and my sympathy was heartfelt I also share a love of Raymond Chandler and this brought together physical memories and a love for mystery I also did a degree in podiatry and know something about the meds for psoriasis that can bring about delusions and general confusion, drink also helps Funny, rude and sardonic Loved the book, Dennis Potter wasa playwrite than Didn t have psoriasis but had eczema from head to toe throughout my childhood ahhh sob sob , I did sob, so this was on my page and my sympathy was heartfelt I also share a love of Raymond Chandler and this brought together physical memories and a love for mystery I also did a degree in podiatry and know something about the meds for psoriasis that can bring about delusions and general confusion, drink also helps Funny, rude and sardonic Loved the book, Dennis Potter wasa playwrite than novelist and the portrayal by Micheal Gambon in this T.V play from my childhood stands the test of time


  4. Mariel Mariel says:

    I made my discovery of Dennis Potter by accident when thirteen the cusp of fourteen Now I m all vaginal coming of age story Thirteen was my weird age of Sweet Valley Twins not even the mature high school version , gorging on the classics, and obsession with Homicide Life on the Street when googling myself I ll still find my old teen hyper excited posts about Homicide It was true love, and makes me shudder what I d have written about Potter back then, if I d made a website I m not I made my discovery of Dennis Potter by accident when thirteen the cusp of fourteen Now I m all vaginal coming of age story Thirteen was my weird age of Sweet Valley Twins not even the mature high school version , gorging on the classics, and obsession with Homicide Life on the Street when googling myself I ll still find my old teen hyper excited posts about Homicide It was true love, and makes me shudder what I d have written about Potter back then, if I d made a website I m not going to say it changed my life as late as last year I was addicted to Paris Hilton s BFF reality show Soaps take three episodes to get into Scientific fact so I m not responsible Ask me about my boy band chicken pox theory That was definitely a soap.What it did was open my eyes.You know how an important experience that rocks your world settles on your skinlike a ghost that comes and goes as it will Not the angel on your shoulder you ignore, nor a diet that you ll drop two days later diet starts Monday but an honest to god experience that makes you gasp and live in the fever that is someone else s life hell I didn t turn over any new leaves in my tastes It could be like an especially painful event that doesn t consciously touch down on the rest of it I m great at compartmentalizing It s hard for anything to be life affirming when so much of what is in between is meaningless dreck yeah, I m including the Paris Hilton in this part of my life I m not ever going to forget Dennis Potter Every once in a while I ll come back to him.My Potter accident was either Track 29, starring Gary Oldman, or Brimestone and Treacle, with Sting Gary Oldman was my favorite actor before Andre Braugher Frank on Homicide was my favorite actor He got replaced by John Turturro and no mythological creature has yet to sprout back up in his place Sidetracked again I had internet fansites to express my devotion I wasn t CASUALLY devoted, if that s what you re thinking Like you just dropped Paris Hm Anyway, both films are funny and sick as can be and I LOVED them Both also have rapist characters named Martin The rapes are catalysts for awakenings of their victims I ve always wondered about any Martins Potter might ve known I ll trace back over how I discovered something important to me, then reassure myself of other avenues I might ve taken The good that almost didn t happen I could ve found Potter that way if that hadn t happened Like someone with a near death experience Yeah The library had copies of The Singing Detective and Pennies from Heaven One of those great days of chance I won the lottery in my public library video section.Dennis Potter had skin problems, not exactly the same as the psoriatic arthritis in The Singing Detective or maybe it is My memory isn t the best At the end of his days, Potter would tape the pen in his hand to write with because they had become nothan claws needless to say, the man was dedicated to his work He had nothing else His wife had already tragically died of cancer I ve my own chronic respiratory problems to deal with which does make my skin break out and I freak out I always think of Singing and freak outand then sing rasp classic songs , and it isn t hard to be taken back into the memories of sickness and hospitals Reading or watching The Singing Detective can be difficult because those feelings are intense I ll keep looking at my hands to make sure that I m still me and not Marlowe Really, no kidding, it is seeing the world through someone else s eyes hands , and feeling the illness that comes behind it It did open my eyes To the importance of memories, fictions, the day to day Almost like there really could be an actual big picture How the hell did this happen and futilely wishingPutting things into perspective doesn t last Living through something does Dennis Potter rules my world because he does the latter Someone else has it worse doesn t work You can t remember pain exactly when the boo boo heals, so even your own pain doesn t always put things into perspective At least I have my health There are such things as heartbreak, and loss, and what you can t get back Those are the feelings of Singing That s how you ever know how someone else feels.I d recommend watching the tv productions because they are damned great and you get to listen to the music The music is important in the best singing along to the music that happens to say everything you couldn t say way I ve tried to get as many as I can to read cause I like to read screenplays and plays to see how they did it A few years ago I treated myself to The Collected Dennis Potter dvd set from .co.uk It cost a pretty pound converted to the dollar okay, I d havemoney if I didn t need to break the piggy bank for emergencies such as this so often But I did really need it It hasthan paid for itself The set includes The Singing Detective, Pennies From Heaven, Casanova, Brimstone Treacle, Vote Vote Vote For Nigel Barton Stand Up Nigel Barton, Blue Remembered Hills and Mayor Of Casterbridge These are the tv versions, not the 80s film Brimestone and Treacle starring Sting as Martin He was devil as Draco Malfoy pouty sex creep Fun and very 80s , Pennies from Heaven with Steve Martin I don t believe I need to say which version I prefer Bob Hoskins duh , or the ugh remake of The Singing Detective starring Robert Downey Jr like getting a postcard of emotions Wish you were there instead of really feeling them like in the Michael Gambon 80s version The memories and fiction aren t seamless either, I didn t ever jump on that train Lipstick On Your Collar is on dvd I bought the pricey vhs tape collection in high school with my babysitting money I d upgrade but this one isn t my favorite don t NEED it I ve not read or seen Karaoke and Cold Lazarus On paper it sounds similar in some respects to The Singing Detective looks like I might um need this at some point I m definitely not done with Dennis Potter


  5. Kate Jonez Kate Jonez says:

    This is a beautiful book in its own right Most screenplays are blueprints for movies The Singing Detective is the exception The printed version of the script is a work of art Reading the script is a different experience from the viewing the film and just as compelling.


  6. Paul Paul says:

    Possibly the best play ever done for television Not an easy journey, as with Hide And Seek, and not for the faint of heart and mind, but a difficult life laid bare More a psychology text written by an English major.


  7. Nooilforpacifists Nooilforpacifists says:

    The best Tele play ever Notwithstanding the late Mr Potter s usual stock socialist characters, it all comes together here His finest work, and his epitaph.When first shown on BBC, it drew letters to the Times about shocking language, until a CofE Rev rebuked the lot, pointing out that this was among the most moving redemption stories he d ever seen Count me with the right Rev The Potter alter ego falls, and is re born, but the reader viewer gets a marvelous play within a play within a de The best Tele play ever Notwithstanding the late Mr Potter s usual stock socialist characters, it all comes together here His finest work, and his epitaph.When first shown on BBC, it drew letters to the Times about shocking language, until a CofE Rev rebuked the lot, pointing out that this was among the most moving redemption stories he d ever seen Count me with the right Rev The Potter alter ego falls, and is re born, but the reader viewer gets a marvelous play within a play within a detective story in the process Who done it Unusually, the script is a must AFTER you ve see the 6 hour television experience Thereafter, this scrip is a joy to re read when you don t have 6 hours to re watch the play The score is well worth it too


  8. Susa Susa says:

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  9. Ian Banks Ian Banks says:

    I ve been rereading this script for almost thirty years and I m still digging new things out of it It s the story of Philip Marlow, failed novelist and psoriasis sufferer who is in hospital with his latest bout with the disease and how he spends his time reconciling his past life with what he is at the moment He s not a particularly likeable character but he is compelling and, as his inner life and history collide in the present day, he does know how to mix his genres effortlessly This is sti I ve been rereading this script for almost thirty years and I m still digging new things out of it It s the story of Philip Marlow, failed novelist and psoriasis sufferer who is in hospital with his latest bout with the disease and how he spends his time reconciling his past life with what he is at the moment He s not a particularly likeable character but he is compelling and, as his inner life and history collide in the present day, he does know how to mix his genres effortlessly This is still regarded as a high water mark in Dennis Potter s career and rightly so It s a brilliant story beautifully told


  10. John John says:

    Dennis Potter is a writer s writer and for television, no less The Singing Detective isn t a quick and breezy ride it s meandering and inconsistent and painful yet often smirkingly funny It s got many different scenes and timeframes and one very unreliable narrator that results in something that s very meta in the end, and you can see where it informed the British Invasion of Comic writers.


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