Edna, the Inebriate Woman
Edna, the Inebriate Woman is a British television drama starring Patricia Hayes. The film, written by award-winning screenwriter Jeremy Sandford, was first broadcast on BBC 1 on 21 October 1971, as part of the Play for Today series. It was directed by Ted Kotcheff and produced by Irene Shubik.
The play deals with an elderly woman, Edna (Patricia Hayes), who wanders through life in an alcoholic haze without a home, a job or any money. A rambling, pathetic yet defiant woman, Edna sleeps rough and begs for food and shelter and the drama follows her progress as she moves from hostel to hostel, going to a psychiatric ward and then prison along the way. At the end, a small home for homeless women run by Josie Quinn (Barbara Jefford) from a Christian charity, 'Jesus Saves', is closed down after an inquiry, following the complaints of neighbours. Edna and the other women are on the road again.
- Patricia Hayes as Edna
- Barbara Jefford as Josie Quinn of 'Jesus Saves'
- Geraldine Sherman as Trudi
- Cheryl Hall as Vangi
- Kate Williams as Teresa
- Peggy Aitchison as Lil
- Freda Dowie as Mother Superior
- Roger Hammond as Victor
- John Trigger as Graham
- Walter Sparrow as Common Lodging House Proprietor
- June Watson as Attendant (at The Spike)
- Denis Carey as Doctor
- Jerry Verno as Old Man (at The Spike)
- Rex Rashley as Old Man (at The Spike)
- Amelia Bayntun as Jessie - Tramp
- Talfryn Thomas as Tramp
- Charles Farrell as Tramp
- Vivian MacKerrell as Tramp
- Jenny Logan as Doris, on the Road
- June Brown as Clara
- Norman Lumsden as Magistrate
- Pat Nye as Irene at Common Lodging House
Jeremy Sandford, who had previously written Cathy Come Home, researched the play by living rough himself for two weeks, on two separate occasions. A great deal of the dialogue and the incidents in the play come from the book, Down and Out in Britain published by Sandford in 1971; although the majority of the speakers in the book are male, Sandford puts much of their speech into the mouth of the main female character.
Filming took place in November and December 1970.
Reception and awardsEdit
The play gained an audience of some 9.25 million on its first showing, an unqualified success.
At the 1972 British Academy Television Awards, the play won the Best Drama Production category and Patricia Hayes received the award for Best Actress.