Play for Today (1970–1984)
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Slice-of-life look at class divisions among employees at a brokerage house.


Mike Leigh


Mike Leigh (devised by)




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Kane Richard Kane ... Alan
Joolia Cappleman Joolia Cappleman ... April
Phil Davis ... Kevin (as Philip Davis)
Adam Norton Adam Norton ... Giles
Simon Chandler ... Nigel
Graham Seed ... Anthony
Catherine Hall Catherine Hall ... Samantha
Felicity Dean ... Caroline
Jeffry Wickham ... Francis (as Jeffrey Wickham)
Souad Faress ... Samya
David Neville David Neville ... Lord Crouchurst
Richenda Carey ... Lady Crouchurst
Lavinia Bertram ... Nanny
Francesca Martin Francesca Martin ... Selina
Geraldine James ... Miss Hunt


Slice-of-life look at class divisions among employees of a brokerage house. Alan, with his portrait of the Queen and love of the peerage; his wife April, who raises cats; youthful and pretentious friends Nigel, Giles, and Anthony, who gather for a wine-soaked dinner party with the chatty and risque Samantha and the mousy Caroline; the plummy Lord and Lady Crouchurst, in a spot of bother needing the help of Francis, a senior partner, to assist with the family's cash flow. Alan comes home from work to find Mr. Shakespeare doing a photo shoot of one of April's cats and a wealthy stranger, Miss Hunt, waiting to purchase one. His instincts for sycophantic palaver kick in. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama







Release Date:

6 February 1979 (UK) See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Featured in Arena: Mike Leigh Making Plays (1982) See more »

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User Reviews

dissecting the status system
15 January 2011 | by mjneu59See all my reviews

One of Mike Leigh's more scathing comedies pokes fun at the peculiar English tradition of class envy, a habit not limited to the British Isles but certainly more common in a country where the social polarities are so pronounced. The butt of Leigh's humor is a hapless clerk obsessed with the genealogy and manners of British peerage, and his pursuit of all things aristocratic is compared with the objects of his envy in a savage observation of the young idle rich at play. As usual in a Mike Leigh satire, character takes precedent over plot, and the title credit 'devised and directed by' reflects his method of allowing the actors to create their own roles, often achieving remarkably lifelike portraits through careful exaggeration.

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