Apparently, I say, ‘marvellous’ more than I should. A member of the younger generation told me that ‘marvellous’ is very out-dated and not at all a word for today. If they had ever said, ‘marvellous’ slowly and out loud, I’m sure they would see the attraction. And then a TV drama comes along, and we all have to say, ‘Marvellous’. Released in September, 2014, ‘Marvellous’ is the story, so far, of Neil Baldwin, who has lived the most extraordinary life, in spite of, or more likely, because of his perceived learning difficulties.
Biopics can be tricky, especially if your subject is still alive. I am working on a biographical drama and have explored different devices to bring out the voice of the subject, for example: using letters, or an ‘imaginary’ conversation with the subject’s mother, neither of which have worked satisfactorily. The device used by the writer, Peter Bowker, is to show Toby Jones, who plays Neil Baldwin, having a few small but endorsing conversations with his subject. Neil’s life has been so incredible, the drama almost needed this level of valediction. However, it is an interesting device, and one I will explore.