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In the heat of the summer of 1976, keen drama teacher Vivienne fights sweltering heat and general teenage apathy to put on an end of year music version of Shakespeare's The Tempest. To engage her students, she uses hits of the time, which will be performed by a fresh young cast led by rising star Aneurin Barnard.Written by
The song Livin' Thing (written by Jeff Lynne, performed by ELO), did not chart in the UK until 13 Nov 1976 and would not have been known during the Summer of 76. See more »
Someone has burnt half the fucking school down!
So let us stop this petty, liberal procrastination and take control of the situation. We are fiddling while Rome burns!
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All The Car Booters of South Wales (you know who you are) See more »
This is another slew of dramas or comedies which we have had in the last few years set in the 1970s. Maybe the writers and directors have hit 40 and getting nostalgic about their youth.
Set in the summer of 1976 where Britain had a hot summer leading to a drought, Vivienne May (Minnie Driver) a teacher in South Wales, a free spirit wants to put an end of year production of The Tempest with rock songs. Its all so Jesus Christ Superstar.
The kids leaving school face an uncertain future, many of them are going to go into mediocre jobs. At least Viv has the support of the headmaster as some of the more conservative teachers disapprove of her plans. They only see kids as fit for factory work or going down the mines.
There is nothing really original in Hunky Dory although the songs blend in well with the musical particularly the ELO numbers.
Its a coming of age tale as some of the kids are dealing with their sexuality, machismo, girlfriend/boyfriend trouble and in one case hanging around with skinheads.
It all leads up with the production of the musical in the opening night and all the turmoil associated with it.
Its a small scale feel-good musical, nice but I felt the tone was all over the place ranging from comedy to drama and back again. Apparently the final credits indicates that this might be based on true events.
In retrospect having been around at that time, in some sense these kids never had it so good, at least they had some sort of job to go to after leaving school. Just wait until 1979 when Mrs Thatcher enters Downing Street and closes a lot of the factories down.
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