Talking Heads viewers distracted by Martin Freeman’s Yorkshire accent as he impersonates old northern woman – The SunJune 30, 2020
TALKING Heads viewers are divided about Martin Freeman's accent as he takes on the distinct Yorkshire lilt.
The 2020 series of Alan Bennett's Talking Heads has got people talking, with its controversial stories and all-star cast.
One point that has people talking is Freeman's northern accent, in his episode A Chip In The Sugar where he plays the role of middle-aged man, Graham Whittaker.
Graham is a repressed homosexual with a history of mental health issues, finds life becoming complicated as his mother or "Mam", Vera Whittaker, with whom he still lives, reunites with an old flame named Frank Turnbull.
He becomes increasingly disturbed when Frank, whose outspoken and right-wing opinions conflict with Graham's muddled liberalism, becomes an ever-increasing influence on Vera, taking her to a "common" café at which Graham notices a chip in the sugar bowl.
Freeman who was born in Aldershot in southern England, replicated Bennet's Yorkshire accent and the result has garnered misex reviews.
One Twitter user wrote: "Although I disagree in general with the Southwashing; quite why Martin Freeman had to affect a Morely/Batley accent to be more convincingly Bennet I’m not sure and I sort of wish he had gone his own way."
But another disagreed: "More Talking Heads, and I’m not too sure about the veracity of Martin Freeman’s accent."
Other thought the actor did a great job: "Thought Martin Freeman was superb, & those complaining about his accent presumably think all northerners have to sound like Alan Bennett (who played the rôle originally)."
One Twitter user said he was "sublime": "For all those complaining about the pace and accent in Martin Freeman’s reboot of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads ‘A Chip in The Sugar’.
"Martin’s accent as ‘Graham’ was just glorious and his pace, sublime."
The first series of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads originally aired in 1988 on BBC One, and was also adapted for Radio 4.
A second series of the show was produced for BBC Two in 1998.
The monologues themselves have also featured on GCSE and A-level syllabuses.
The original series was nominated for 10 Bafta TV Awards back in 1989, winning Thora Hird the prize for best actress for her role in A Cream Cracker Under The Settee.A lot of viewers loved the fact the 2020 Talking Heads was filmed at iconic parts of the EastEnders set.The BBC soap is currently off-air for the first time in its 35-year history due to the coronavirus pandemic so the production team made use of many familiar locations around Walford.
Series director Sir Nicholas Hytner revealed the actors loved being on the set of the long-running BBC soap.
He told The Sun: “Some of these actors may be dames, but they’re still in showbusiness. All of them who had a chance to do a selfie in Albert Square or in the Queen Vic, they all did it.
“Martin Freeman was thrilled to perform his monologue in Dot Cotton’s bedroom. EastEnders viewers will see we changed some sets a lot, but some we couldn’t change much.”
The reboot will feature 10 original monologues alongside two new creations, including An Ordinary Woman.
The stellar cast also includes Kristin Scott Thomas, Tamsin Greig, Jodie Comer, Lesley Manville, Lucian Msamati, Maxine Peake, Rochenda Sandall, Harriet Walter and Monica Dolan.
All 12 films will be available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
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